Charles about the situation in Benin

2. How has the situation in your country/ region changed regarding the infection process and numbers since the beginning of the pandemic and how are you perceiving the current situation?

The current situation in Benin is a bit precarious. The confinement was lifted before the start of the school year in October. The schools are open and strictly adhere to the hygiene and social distancing rules. Pupils, learners or university students go to class with their masks, hydro-alcoholic gels and regularly wash their hands before returning to class.

The mask must be worn by every individual (an obligation) even in the street, in the market, in shops, in taxis, in buildings or wherever they are. Queuing is generally done at banks, shops, supermarkets, while respecting the distance of one metre between people.

I am afraid of catching the virus if I am in people's homes. In addition, in terms of passenger transport, the government has placed strict emphasis on reducing the number of passengers in a car to three passengers in addition to the driver, which makes four people in a taxi, all respecting the distancing rules. Also with Zemidjans (motorbike taxis), overload is not accepted anymore, it is only allowed to take one person while keeping the required distance.

While markets are open to some extent, it is not like before, there are no more big crowds. Some items are missing, especially those imported from neighbouring countries, for example in the case of Nigeria, because of the border closure, the missing articles are rice, cans, clothes, mineral oil products, petrol, medicines and other things for health centres and pharmacies... Big shortages are observed in different areas.

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