Protesters in Ivory Coast have razed down a half-built coronavirus testing centre. Over 100 angry residents in Yopougon, a neighbourhood of the commercial capital, Abidjan started pulling apart the uncompleted structure on Sunday.
They expressed their disapproval to the hospital being built “right in the heart” of the Ivorian population. Images cited on social media show protesters ripping the centre apart.
Police dispersed the rampaging youth with tear gas, but the melee erupted again on Monday. “They want to kill us. We don’t want this centre here,” protester Joel Blehi told Reuters. Another protester said that the facility would bring COVID-19 “right into the middle of the Ivorian population”.
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“There’s been a lack of communication. It’s more like a testing centre for residents,” police spokesman Charlemagne Bleu said. He said that no one was harmed in the clashes. Four arrests have so far been made.
According to the health ministry, the building was never intended as a treatment centre. It was meant for a testing facility.
Just like many African countries, Ivory Coast authorities have closed schools, places of worship, most shops and imposed a night-time curfew. The country has recorded 261 confirmed cases and three deaths.