Senegal has recorded its first cases of the omicron variant, becoming the third West African nation to detect the new coronavirus variant after Nigeria and Ghana.
The announcement of the first case 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 Nov. 22 by air from a country in the sub-region, the institute said 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. He has been isolated and as of Sunday did not present symptoms, it said.
The Institut Pasteur in Dakar on Sunday announced two more omicron cases hours later, saying they were in travelers leaving Dakar.
The cases include a 28-year-old man who tested positive on Nov. 23, as well as a 29-year-old woman staying in a hotel in Dakar who tested positive on Dec. 1.
The Institut Pasteur added on Twitter that “of the 22 sequences obtained for the period, the delta variant remains in the majority.”
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.