DAKAR (Reuters) - Senegal's government warned employers on Monday not to refuse entry to workers who are not vaccinated against COVID-19, calling such measures discriminatory.
Fewer than 1 million of Senegal's roughly 16 million people have been vaccinated, but some employers have begun to ask unvaccinated workers to stay at home as infections and deaths hit record numbers during the ongoing third wave.
Last week, Senegal's public electricity company said unvaccinated workers would be placed on annual leave beginning on Aug. 16. Some private employers have announced similar measures.
Labour Minister Samba Sy said in a circular to employers that because Senegalese law does not require vaccination, employers could not penalise workers based on vaccination status.
"These measures, which are discriminatory and violate the rights of workers, have no legal basis," Sy said.
Senegal's total number of COVID-19 cases jumped 44% in July to over 62,000, leaving hospitals in the capital Dakar nearly overrun.
(Reporting by Ngouda Dione; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Alistair Bell)