Senegal is facing a soaring Covid-19 case on Saturday 17 July, the positivity of those tested rises to more than 35% … ahead of the major Muslim festival Tabaski, the Ministry of Health made several recommendations, especially to speed up the vaccination campaign and strengthen the screening system.
Senegal, with a population of 16 million, is facing a recovery in cases of contamination. The Ministry of Health said on Saturday that 1,366 new cases had been registered in the past 24 hours, which was almost twice as many cases as in the middle of last week.
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Senegalese authorities had already called Thursday to avoid travel in connection with Tabaski, Eid’s festival and this Saturday announced the national bus company in Senegal to discontinue its connections between the city due to the recent resurgence of Covid-19 in the country.
Accelerate the production of antigenic tests
The Ministry of Health therefore wants to speed up the vaccination campaign – “almost 500,000 doses are expected by the end of July” – and strengthen the screening system. In this regard, the international organization UNITAID this week announced a technology transfer agreement in Senegal for a massive production of rapid antigenic tests for the continent.
“Today, high-income countries detect COVID-19 in their population at least 60 times more than low-income countries,” according to UNITAID. For the Geneva International Bureau, we must therefore test more, faster, to isolate patients and speed up treatment. Hervé Verhoosel, his spokesman, at the microphone Charlotte idrac, our correspondent in Dakar. “A technology change is very important to be able to produce fast quality tests. Because in Africa, so-called PCR tests are not very widespread, because on the one hand there are problems with logistics, access to laboratories or human resources ”.
Quality tests at reduced costs
Unitaid and FIND, the global alliance of diagnostics, have therefore signed an agreement with the platform of the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, called “Diatropix”, for the production of available tests. “There is also an economic problem: during the pandemic, we realized that this, for example, had a very important impact on the health care systems of various African countries. And such agreements also make it possible to halve the price of the quick test to two and a half dollars per test maximum … ”
The goal is to produce 200,000 tests per month from the beginning of 2022, and eventually up to 2.5 million tests per month, depending on the requirements of the countries on the continent.
Unitaid and Find signed a similar agreement with a production platform in Brazil. The total investment (for the two regions, Africa and Latin America) is $ 40 million.