Senegal records first British Covid-19 variant

Senegal has recorded its first case of the more-contagious coronavirus strain that initially emerged in Britain, a research institute in the West African country said on Thursday.

Souleymane Mboup, the director of the health-research body IRESSEF, told a press conference near the capital Dakar that people must “scrupulously” follow virus precautions, since “these variants are transmitted more rapidly”.

As with other countries in Africa, Senegal’s official infection rate is far below levels in the West, having officially recorded more than 25,000 coronavirus cases and 600 deaths since March.

The nation of 16 million people is nonetheless battling a second wave of Covid-19, with the government imposing new restrictions this month, including a night-time curfew in Dakar.

The British coronavirus variant likely emerged in southeastern England in September, according to Imperial College London. The World Health Organization says it has already spread to more than 60 countries worldwide.

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