Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Social Action on Tuesday announced 208 of Senegalese soldiers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The soldiers had recently returned from an overseas mission in The Gambia.
The Director of Prevention at the Health Ministry, Mamadou Ndiaye, at a news briefing said the soldiers were treated by the army health services and were part of a 600-soldiers contingent missioned to Gambia by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The soldiers, who were all asymptomatic, were treated at the military center in Guereo, in the south, according to Col. Mactar Diop.
Diop added that they will be considered negative after 10 days and released.
The soldiers were deployed in 2017 to enforce President Adama Barrow’s election victory over then-President Yahya Jammeh, who had ruled for 22 years.
Health officials have reported 14,529 diagnosed cases, including 10,692 recoveries, with 298 fatalities and 3,538 cases under treatment.
The country reported its first case March 2.
Meanwhile, in August President Macky Sall of Senegal asked G20 states to relieve the African debt, as the continent is facing the coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing a crowd of businessmen during a visit to the French Entrepreneurs’ Conference, Macky Sall pleaded for the moratorium on Africa’s debt to be extended until next year.
“For the most part, and for all African countries, internal efforts will not be enough to lessen the shock of Covid and revive economic growth,” Sall said.
“We need more financial capacity, which is why, with other colleagues, I have made a plea for substantial relief of Africa’s public debt and private debt on terms to be agreed upon.”