In a month the number of cases has increased more than fivefold in Senegal and the transmission occurs more by way of the community.
May 2, 2020 9: 55
Updated at 12h14
Senegal boasts the effects of the chloroquine, with figures to support them
DAKAR — The senegalese authorities have said Saturday their intention to continue to prescribe hydroxychloroquine to patients Covid-19 after a preliminary analysis showing a reduction in the duration of hospitalization, while the country is facing a constant increase of cases.
They have also, before this increase continues, announced their decision not to hospitalize routinely in patients who have no or few symptoms, but the isolate in open sites, in order to relieve the hospitals.
They have also decided on Friday night to close the markets of Dakar on the Saturdays and Sundays and reduce their frequency by week. The number of clients should also be restricted in large areas, said the prefecture in a press release.
The health authorities have officially declared 1115 contamination cases and nine deaths in the last two months since the confirmation of the virus ‘ appearance on march 2, according to a new balance sheet reported Saturday.
“The major finding is that the epidemic does not weaken”, has told the press the minister of Health, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr.
He said that the pandemic remained under control. But he stressed that in a month the number of cases has “more than quintupled”, and that transmission occurs more by a way more worrying and the so-called community, that is to say, without any established link between the new cases and those already identified.
Senegal had early on made the choice to follow the example of the French professor Didier Raoult, and to generalize the prescription, in a hospital, hydroxychloroquine, antimalarial drug available on the market, in the heart of a quarrel of international experts as to its efficacy and safety.
Professor Moussa Seydi, infectious diseases physician who coordinates the care of contaminated, presented the results of the analysis “preliminary” showing that out of 181 patients, the median duration of hospitalization was 13 days for patients who received no treatment, 11 for those who received hydroxychloroquine alone, 9 for those who received hydroxychloroquine associated with azithromycin (an antibiotic), and even 8 for those who have consulted early and started the treatment within 24 hours.
Few side effects
According to this analysis focused on 362 subjects, side-effects, not otherwise specified, were observed in 12 persons, he said. The treatment was maintained for 4 of them because the effects were not “troublesome”, and stopped for the other 8, but there has been “no serious side effects” and all the signs have regressed, at the end of the treatment, he reported.
“Given these preliminary results, we will continue our support with hydroxychloroquine”, he said.
More than 700 patients are treated in 20 centers of support.
Someone else in charge of the response, Abdoulaye Bousso, director of the emergency operations Centre health, has indicated that patients with asymptomatic or little symptomatic, would be greeted in mid non-hospital settings, on sites like a hangar from the old airport the international Léopold-Sédar-Senghor in Dakar or on the air force base in Thies (west).
The goal is to “not to make our hospitals the hospitals Covid” and the ability to continue to treat other patients, he said.
The senegalese government has introduced a night-time curfew, closed the borders and severely restricted the movements and gatherings. It is kept to put in place a containment hardly feasible in a poor country with a good part of the population lives from day to day.
Thirty academics from all disciplines have warned in a report against the effects of a total containment which would cause, according to them, a recession – 9.9% in 2020 if it lasted a month, with disastrous consequences for the most vulnerable and risk social instability. They advocate the generalization of a mask and a mass screening.
Academics, spontaneously gathered in a research group “without any calculation”, have forwarded their report to the authorities, told AFP the coordinator of the group, Serigne Omar Sarr.