On December 31st, 2019, Chinese authorities reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) pneumonia cases, caused by a coronavirus in Wuhan city, Hubei Province (1). Later, WHO named the disease as COVID-19. On March 11, 2020, WHO declared the new coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak as a pandemic and invites governments to take immediate measures to limit its spread and to ensure compliance with international health regulations. Globally, on April 1st, 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic affected nearly 823,626 people, including 40,598 deaths in 185 affected countries (2).
On March 2nd, 2020, from the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic with the registration of an imported case, Senegal implemented a response plan covering the period of February-July 2020 with several modular phases depending on the current epidemiological situation (3). The strategic axes of the plan were (i) the strengthening of surveillance for the early detection of cases; (ii) the chain of transmission’s interruption by isolating confirmed cases and confining their contacts; (iii) the protection of health personnel by the application of infection prevention and control measures and consistent implementation of activities through good coordination.
Current knowledge on the virus shows scientific uncertainties. However, COVID-19 has been found to spread at a high speed with often unpredictable behavior. The basic reproduction rate which was estimated between 2.5 and 3 (4) is revised upwards to 5.7 (5). The serial interval often varies from study to study (4, 5). This has led some countries to take drastic measures ranging from a ban on assembly to complete containment of the population (6, 7).
After a month of pandemic in Senegal, it is important to analyze the dynamics of the epidemic for establishing its profile and the measures taken by the Government of Senegal (GOS) to stem the epidemic.
Sudano-Sahelian country located in the far west of Africa, the population of Senegal is estimated at 16,209,125 inhabitants in 2019 (8) with an average density of 82 inhabitants per km². In 2018, the percentage of children in full-time education in Senegal was 80.9% (9) and a per capita GDP of $1,521 associated with a poverty line of 34%. Which ranks Senegal at 166th place according to the United Nations Development Program (10) with an HDI of 0.514).
Senegal has four international airports: Dakar (Léopold Sedar Senghor airport), Thies (Blaise Diagne airport), Saint Louis and Ziguinchor, with facilities meeting international safety and security standards. Regarding maritime transport, the country has two ports, one of which is in Dakar (11).
The Senegalese health system is organized according to a pyramid structure at three levels: central, intermediate, and peripheral (MoH). Services are provided at public health establishments; health centers, health posts and health huts for the public sector (12). Senegal has 1,623 doctors, two thirds of whom work in the public sector. Almost 40% of paramedical personnel work in the private sector (12).