Hospitals In Dakar Overwhelmed As The Virus Spreads

Until now relatively spared by the coronavirus pandemic, Senegal is now facing an explosion of Covid-19 cases due to the spread of the Delta variant. In Dakar, the health system is under great pressure as hospital beds dedicated to Covid patients are full and health personnel are “on the verge of breaking down”.

The West African country has suffered a third wave of virus infections in recent weeks, with cases rising from a few dozen a day late last month to about 1,700 in July.

Health authorities have registered most of the new cases in Dakar, a city of over three million people.

Bed occupancy stands at about 45 percent in the rest of the country, he said.

A surge in coronavirus cases is also causing delay in receiving Covid test results in the poor nation of 16 million people.

Senegal has recorded over 57,000 cases since the start of the pandemic, of which more than 1,200 have been fatal.

About 640,000 people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine so far.

President Macky Sall has threatened to close borders and restrict internal travel should the health situation deteriorate.

He has so far avoided imposing strict measures to curb the virus, relying instead on personal responsibility.

A curfew and limits on gatherings were lifted after riots broke out in March.

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