Senegal health authorities adopt measures to contain spread of coronavirus

Senegal has so far seen four people contract the novel coronavirus, with one patient cured and soon to be released from hospital, according to the health ministry. In the capital of Dakar, medical staff at the Fann hospital have implemented systems for handling new coronavirus cases and say they are confident and ready to deal with an epidemic. FRANCE 24's Emmanuelle Landais, Sarah Sakho and Elimane Ndao filed this report.

Patients who test positive for the new coronavirus are brought to Dakar's Fann hospital where doctors say they have made the necessary preparations to handle more cases of COVID-19, the infectious disease that the virus causes.

Professor Moussa Seydi, head of the infectious diseases department of Fann hospital said: "In this centre we have 12 individual rooms but this centre can be expanded thanks to a mobile installation with 36 beds, it can be done very quickly, within a week. Obviously if we have a lot more cases, we will have to find a way for other hospitals to accommodate cases."

The priority for health officials in the West African country is to contain the spread of the virus.

People are being advised to protect against the virus's spread with simple actions like washing their hands and covering their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.

In a bustling downtown money transfer agency, the employees are following the instructions.

"We heard that banknotes can spread the virus, that's why the boss put this here, so that we use the sanitiser after each transaction," cashier Djenaba Sy told FRANCE 24.

The Senegalese government has announced it will roll out nearly 1.5 billion CFA francs – just over €2 million – to fight the epidemic. 

Click on the player to watch FRANCE 24's report.