Senegal’s government confirmed the country’s first coronavirus case, the second in sub-Saharan Africa.
The patient is a French national who arrived in Dakar, the capital, on Feb. 26, Health Minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr told reporters Monday at a briefing broadcast on Facebook. The man sought help two days later after suffering from fever, headache and a sore throat, and is being kept under quarantine at the Infectious and Tropical Diseases Center of the Fann Hospital in Dakar, the minister said.
Prior to his arrival, the man spent time in Nimes in southern France and at a ski resort in the Alps over a two-week period, Sarr said. He has been living in Senegal with his wife and two children for more than two years.
“To date, there has been no major concerns about the patient’s condition,” said Sarr.
The man’s family is being monitored by the authorities, Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye, director-general at the health ministry, said by phone.
Nigeria reported sub-Saharan Africa’s first confirmed case of coronavirus on Feb. 28, after an Italian citizen tested positive for the disease. The man, who works for a vendor that provides services to cement maker Lafarge Africa Plc, arrived in Lagos from Milan on Feb. 25.
Officials including African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat have voiced concern that health systems on the continent may be ill-equipped to deal with an epidemic of the virus.
Senegalese authorities have requested a passenger list from the flight that the patient took, said Ngone Ngom, a spokeswoman for Sarr. The man traveled from Paris on the national carrier, Air Senegal, Associated Press reported, without saying where it got the information.
A Senegalese delegation that had attended the Paris International Agriculture Show and returned to Dakar is also being monitored, the government said.
One other suspected case, a Gambian national who arrived in Dakar over the weekend with high fever, has tested negative for the coronavirus, Ndiaye said.
The government is following the World Health Organization’s protocols to contain the disease and asked “the population to be calm and strictly respect the recommended prevention measures,” said Sarr.