Senegal logs zero new COVID-19 cases for first time since pandemic began

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FILE—In this Wednesday, July 28, 2021 file photo, a health worker administers a dose of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson in the Medina neighborhood in Dakar, Senegal. Thousands of new coronavirus cases have been reported in West Africa in recent weeks amid low vaccination rates and the spread of the delta variant. Officials say cases have risen sharply in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and elsewhere. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)
A health worker administers a dose of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson in the Medina neighborhood in Dakar, Senegal. /AP

Senegal recorded zero new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday for the first time since the pandemic began, the health ministry said.

The West African country had its worst wave of coronavirus in July when it was recording more than 1,000 new cases a day. The health ministry has registered 73,875 cases and 1,873 deaths since the outbreak began.

Sixteen patients are still under treatment, the ministry said.

Senegal has been seen as a positive example of a country managing COVID-19 well despite limited resources. The state began contact tracing and isolating cases early on. Mask mandates and curfews were enforced in the capital, Dakar.

The vaccination rate remains low, with 1.3 million doses administered to the roughly 17 million population.

Dakar’s bustling markets and beachside bars have long ago returned to pre-pandemic levels of activity. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 1 Travel Health Notice for Senegal, indicating the lowest level of COVID-19.

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