Mauritius extends coronavirus lockdown until June 1
Most businesses, bars, shopping centres and markets will stay shut during coronavirus lockdown in Mauritius.–File photo
Mauritius on Friday announced the extension of its lockdown until June 1, even as coronavirus cases appeared to plateau in the island nation where the number of victims has not changed in five days.
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth asked the population of the Indian ocean Island for "a little more patience, to avoid any risk of a second wave" as he extended confinement measures that have been in place since March 20 -- among the first in Africa.
Mauritius -- a popular tourist hotspot -- initially had the highest number of infections in East Africa, but a swift lockdown which went as far as to initially shut supermarkets for 10 days, appears to have been successful with the total number of cases steady at 332 for five days.
Ten people died, while 312 patients recovered, meaning only 10 people remain ill.
While most businesses, bars, shopping centres and markets will stay shut, from May 15 a limited selection of essential stores such as bakeries, butcheries and fishmongers will be allowed to re-open.
Meanwhile supermarkets and banks will continue to allow customers in on an alphabetical basis.
In his televised address to the nation, Jugnauth announced that schools will remain shut until August 1, the island's famed beaches will remain off limits and no more than 10 people will be allowed to attend weddings and funerals.
The National Assembly will get back to work on May 5 to introduce and debate a Covid-19 Bill which will legislate aspects of the eventual lifting of the lockdown and planned return to normal of all activity from June 2.