The first COVID-19 coronavirus case has been reported last Monday in Senegal, being the second country in Sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria to confirm the contagious disease.
The local media in Senegal reported that a French national who tested positive is being treated at Dakar’s Fann Hospital.
President Macky Sall has called for vigilance and urged for respect of instructions.
According to Reuters, Africa’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says it has activated its emergency operation centre for a continent where healthcare capacity is limited and early detection is vital.
The WHO has identified 13 top-priority countries which either have direct links or a high volume of travel to China, but Senegal was not on that list.
Still, Senegal is home to one of the 26 labs in Africa that can test for the virus. Public announcements on state television advise people to wash their hands and masked health officials conduct temperature checks at the airport while others film arriving passengers.
Before the confirmation of the first case, President Macky Sall on Monday urged calm.
“The health services are taking care of the patient according to the procedure recommended by the World Health Organisation,” he told reporters.