Senegal detects first cases of Omicron Covid-19 variant

DAKAR (AFP) – A first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been reported in Senegal, in a visitor who attended an international meeting, a research institute said, while another organisation detected two more.

The IRESSEF health body said late on Saturday (Dec 4) that the 58-year-old patient arrived in Senegal by air from another West African country on Nov 22.

He had been vaccinated earlier this year with the AstraZeneca and Pfizer shots and had no symptoms by Saturday.

Although the man has now been quarantined in a medical centre, he stayed at a Dakar hotel and took part in an event with 300 people from different countries on Nov 24-25.

Dakar’s Pasteur Institute said in a statement on Sunday that it had separately discovered two cases of the variant.

Senegal has recorded more than 74,000 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.

Launched in February, the country’s vaccination campaign has made slow progress, with 1.3 million people inoculated out of a total 17 million population.

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