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Equatorial Guinea imposes curfew as virus rebounds

The tiny state, ruled by 78-year-old President Teodoro Obiang Nguema for the past 41 years, scaled back a rigorously enforced range of restrictions in August.

FILE: Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema. Picture: AFP

MALABO - Equatorial Guinea on Tuesday said it would impose a curfew for the first time, limit flights and reintroduce other restrictions after cases of coronavirus rebounded in the West African country.

The tiny state, ruled by 78-year-old President Teodoro Obiang Nguema for the past 41 years, scaled back a rigorously enforced range of restrictions in August.

But bars, restaurants, discotheques, casinos and other "leisure sites" will once again be closed, according to a decree read on television on Tuesday.

But places of worship, which were shut during the first wave last year, will remain open.

Added to these measures is the country's first curfew, which will run from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am, as well a reduction in flights.

Domestic flights will be cut back to one per day, while international flights will be scaled back to two per week for national airlines and one per week for international carriers.

Wearing masks in public places will remain obligatory.

Equatorial Guinea, a country with 1.3 million people, has officially recorded 5,614 cases of coronavirus, of which 87 have been fatal.

But Tuesday's decree warned of the "aggressive spread of the pandemic".

According to official figures reported on state TV, there were fewer than 15 cases per week towards the end of 2020, compared with more than 50 per week currently.

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