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Senegal steps up anti-Covid measures after deaths in Mecca

Senegal has stepped up its preventive measures against Covid-19 following a number of deaths during the pilgrimage to Mecca.

At Diamniadio international airport, voluntary screening tests and the wearing of masks were re-imposed on the arrival of pilgrims.

Health Minister Ibrahima Sy expressed concern about a possible link between the deaths and Covid-19.

Initially attributed to excessive heat, authorities now suspect a respiratory illness, probably Covid-19.

“There is a respiratory syndrome with the death cases,” said the minister on June 23.

To reinforce health surveillance at the borders, a screening team was deployed at the airport. Of 124 rapid diagnostic tests carried out, 78 were positive for Covid-19, 36 of which were confirmed by PCR tests.

The Minister stressed the importance of prevention, despite the absence of panic.

Saudi Arabia reported 1,301 deaths during the hajj, attributed to unauthorized pilgrims traveling long distances in intense heat without adequate accompaniment.

“Among them, five Senegalese lost their lives,” according to reports.

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