In recent days, many friends, academics, anti-covid19 activists, activists, relatives, after telling me about a flu, cold or malaria ended up after a PCR test going to the hospital. Other friends have told me how difficult it is to try.
The press releases of the Ministry of Health and Social Action (MSAS) for the last week, from Wednesday 14 July until today Tuesday 20 July 2021, show a daily positive rate of over 25%. The percentage of positivity even reaches huge percentages of 35% with a peak at 38.97%. These percentages would be higher if we subtracted from these tests from travelers who of course have a much lower positivity rate. The number of tests remains low, generally about two thousand with a maximum of four thousand five hundred and at least less than one thousand. Rwanda has a population of eleven million, while Senegal has a population of sixteen million. This country regularly reaches eight thousand tests and in recent days Rwanda announces more than fifty thousand tests a day, the tests can be purchased at pharmacies. MSAS testing policy is worth clarifying because the persistently low number of tests, the absence of systematic screening policy, even localized, does not seem likely to stop the infection, especially with this Delta variant (the Delta mutation according to Professor Mame Thierno Dieng) much more contagious.
The total number of positive cases of covid19 is increasing daily. This increase will put a lot of pressure on the health system of our country: emergencies, hospitals, private clinics, need for oxygen, etc. In addition, this pressure is already being felt today. And unfortunately the number of deaths will also increase. Some scientists claim that the Delta variant is less contagious, however, even if this claim were true, the multiplication of cases would ultimately have a devastating impact.
The Dakar region is a huge complex. Tabaski’s moves will spread the virus across the country, and unexpectedly, as last year, after Tabaski, we should expect an increase in the number of Community cases and an intensification of disease localization.
Vaccines are effective against the Delta variant. I know that vaccinated people who had positive results, but left without reaching a serious condition that required hospitalization in intensive care. It is therefore important to be vaccinated. There is a pressure on the vaccines, people are waiting to get the second dose.
The European Union, Great Britain, the USA and Israel have vaccinated a very large number of their populations. They do not think of Africa and developing countries. This reminds us, if we are still clear, of the urgent need to develop the human capital of our countries (education, training, higher education), to prioritize science, technology, research and innovation and to strongly link these policies with the emergence of companies, SMEs, endogenous and innovative start-ups to meet the vital needs of our countries, especially the control of the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and vaccines. Because developed countries think for themselves and will never give our countries the scientific and technical means to be autonomous.
At the individual level, as well as at the collective level, vaccinated or unvaccinated, we must continue to block gestures:
- wear the mask that covers your nose and mouth,
- wash your hands regularly with regular soap or hydro-alcoholic gel,
- avoid gatherings,
- avoid the trip,
Adding to these barriers measures the need for isolation and testing as soon as you feel symptoms or have doubts.
As I have often said in my previous columns, it is up to the authorities to make decisions that may be unpopular, but which are beneficial to the population in the long run. The exercise of power is a priesthood, it requires integration, participation and power. The head of the family, the head of the village, the head of the region, the mayor, the prefect, the governor, Ps., The minister, the President of the Republic are all on the same boat: they make informed decisions at the right time! Any failure is responsible. However, any decision must take into account the extreme poverty of the less privileged population, a definitive abandonment of part of the middle class suffering from the economic impact of covid19 and the reduction of support from Senegal to the Diaspora. Finally, avoid all decisions that could break the bonds of solidarity between Senegal, now on the verge of rupture. The social stability of our country is at stake.
I wish you all a happy Tabaski holiday. I ask forgiveness from everyone. I give my forgiveness to everyone.
Dewenëti! Njuule mo wuuri!
United and committed, we will win!
Dakar, Tuesday 20 July 2021
Mary Teuw Niane