LOME, Togo

The highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 accounts for 30% of new cases recorded in Senegal, the director of the Institute for Health Research, Epidemiological Surveillance and Training (IRESSEF) said Thursday. 

Amid the third wave of the pandemic, the Alpha variant has disappeared to make way for the predominant Delta variant, which “constitutes 30% of new infections,” Souleymane Mboup said at a meeting of the National Epidemic Management Committee (CNGE) relayed by the local press.

According to Mboup, one third of new infections is due to this variant amid a rapid spread of the virus and increase in the number of cases.

Senegal registered 674 new cases Thursday after reporting a new daily record of 733 infections Wednesday.

The country is experiencing a significant rise in COVID infections, according to Health Minister Abdoulaye Sarr.

“For the past five weeks, we have been recording a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. The figures for the last few days show that the virus is [rapidly] circulating,” he said, speaking at the CNGE meeting.

The country has registered a total of 48,270 cases, including 1,209 deaths, since the beginning of the pandemic in the country.

In response, the authorities are continuing a vaccination campaign, with 595,850 people out of a population of more than 17 million inoculated.

However, “all the measures that have been taken so far must be reinforced because we have a much more contagious virus,” Mboup said.

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