Benenise President Patrice Talon said on Sunday that Benin could not enforce public confinement because it lacks the “means of rich countries” who are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rich countries are putting up huge amounts of money and some are even resorting to barely disguised monetary solutions, or printing notes to prevent what would otherwise be unavoidable socio-economic chaos,” he said in a televised address.
“Benin does not have such means,” Talon said. “If we take measures which starve everybody, they will quickly end up being defied and violated.”
The president did announce from Monday a ‘cordon sanitaire’ around eight major urban areas, including the business capital Cotonou where public transport will be halted.
But issues have been raised about the lack of protective measures in the country where officially just six cases Covid19 have been recorded.
A student demonstration at Cotonou’s Abomey-Calvi university last week calling for classes to be halted ended with one protester dead. Schools, churches and mosques were ordered to close on March 22-23.