President Patrice Talon of the Republic of Benin announced that the West African country could not enforce public confinement because it lacks the “means of rich countries” who are fighting the 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,” Talon 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.”
While most countries have opted for partial or full lockdowns, Benin has till date applied a ‘cordon sanitaire’ around 8 major urban areas, including the business capital Cotonou where public transport has been halted.
Benin as of April 3 had 13 cases with one recovery. Niger on the other hand had 98 cases with five deaths. Africa’s overall tall had passed 7,200 with South Africa being the most hit with 1,505 cases. The four African countries without confirmed cases are: Lesotho, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and South Sudan.