Senegal has recorded its first case of the omicron variant, becoming the third West African nation to detect the new coronavirus variant after Nigeria and Ghana.
The announcement was made by the Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training (IRESSEF), which is one of the laboratories approved by Senegal for COVID-19 testing.
The case was detected Friday from a 58-year-old man who arrived in Senegal on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021 by flight from a country in the sub-region, the institute said in a statement Sunday. The man had been vaccinated in April with the AstraZeneca vaccine and in June with Pfizer.
According to the institute, the patient stayed in the capital, Dakar, in a hotel and took part in a demonstrations that brought together nearly 300 people of several nationalities. The case has been isolated and as of Sunday did not present symptoms, it said.
Senegalese authorities have not yet reacted to the news. Last week President Macky Sall called upon people to respect prevention measures. The news comes as Senegal heads into its tourist season and as it is scheduled to host South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and hold the annual Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security on Monday.