Senegal reports 21 new cases of COVID-19, 335 in total: ministry

Sheikh, from the Village Pilote association wears a protective face mask during a food distribution to street children amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dakar, Senegal April 1, 2020. Picture taken April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Sheikh, from the Village Pilote association wears a protective face mask during a food distribution to street children amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dakar, Senegal April 1, 2020. Picture taken April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Action on Thursday reported 21 more confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 335 in the West African country.

During the daily COVID-19 briefing, Director General of Public Health and President of the National Committee for the Management of Epidemics, Doctor Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye said among the 435 virological tests done, 21 came back positive. The new cases included 19 close contacts of earlier confirmed cases and two community transmission cases.

She also said that four patients, after receiving treatments, tested negative, and were declared cured. A total of 194 patients have been cured since the outbreak of the COVID-19 on March 2 in the country.

Facing an increasing number of community transmission cases, Senegalese President Macky Sall recently said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of general confinement to make the population comply with the preventive measures announced by the government.

Senegalese Minister of Tourism and Air Transport, Alioune Sarr, announced early Thursday on Twitter the extension until May 31 of the closure of the country’s air borders in order to fight against COVID-19. The reopening of the air borders was initially scheduled for Friday.

The country has isolated itself since March 20 midnight when all its international passenger flights were suspended.

On April 4, Senegalese President Macky Sall extended in a presidential decree the current state of emergency, along with the dusk-to-dawn curfew for 30 days, till May 4.