Senegal: COVID-19 Situation Report – #1 (01 January – 20 April 2021)

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Senegal was one of the first countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX initiative: 324,000 doses procured by UNICEF arrived on 3 March 2021. Of the COVAX vaccines delivered, 99.2 per cent have been administered.

  • UNICEF’s support to 16 COVID-19 treatment centres enabled management of more than 5,000 critical cases.

  • UNICEF supplied over 3,200 schools with essential hygiene and handwashing materials to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensured respect of sanitation protocols for 648,800 children.

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

Senegal has been one of the hardest hit countries by COVID-19 in West Africa. A second wave of the pandemic began in December 2020 with a sharp rise in cases and peaked in mid-February 2021 with over 460 daily confirmed cases.
Confirmed cases have more than doubled since 1 January 2021 and, as of 27 April 2021, stand at 40,193, with 1,106 deaths (a 2.75 percent case fatality rate).

In response to rising cases, Senegal imposed a curfew (lifted on 19 March 2021) and other preventative measures.
Measures designed to contain the pandemic compounded existing vulnerabilities by limiting access to essential services. The greatest impact has been on women and children, especially those living in the most deprived communities. UNICEF’s support to Senegal’s COVID-19 response has been decisive in the prevention and control of infection, as well as in ensuring the continuity of essential health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and child protection services for the most vulnerable.

On 3 March 2021, one year after its first confirmed COVID-19 case, Senegal received a first batch of 324,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine via the COVAX initiative, with UNICEF support. The COVAX initiative is an international solidarity mechanism that aims to provide nations with affordable access to safe and effective vaccines against COVID19. Senegal was one of the first countries to receive vaccines through COVAX, which aims to cover 20 per cent of the most vulnerable population. As of 26 April, over 406,000 vaccine doses have been administered (with vaccines procured both through COVAX and other channels).

Between January and March 2021, three children have been paralysed by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) with 11 cVDPV2 cases detected among their contacts. Two positive cases were also reported at environmental surveillance sites. In total, there were 15 cVDPV2 detections from January to March. On 16 April, the Government of Senegal declared a national polio outbreak. UNICEF and partners are supporting the Ministry of Health to deploy a high-quality vaccine response to stop circulation of the virus. They also encourage strengthening routine immunization, in the face of people’s fears over the spread of COVID-19.