Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Social Action, on Friday, reported 59 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the confirmed total to 1,551 in the country.

A total of 872 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, and 59 turned positive, including 52 follow-up contact cases and seven community-transmission cases, Director-General of Public Health, Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye, told a daily briefing on the pandemic.

She said seven patients remain in intensive care units of two hospitals in Dakar and that 49 more patients tested negative were declared cured.

Senegal has since March 20 suspended all international flights till at least May 31.

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Last Saturday, President Macky Sall extended the country’s state of emergency and curfew to June 2.

To contain the spread of the pandemic, Senegalese health authorities have strengthened the search for asymptomatic cases for isolation.

Ndiaye, the Director-General of Health, announced on Thursday the start of treatment in isolation centres for people under 50 years, who test positive for COVID-19, suffer from no chronic illness and present no symptoms of coronavirus disease.

All those who meet the criteria will be put into a dedicated isolation centre and their health status will be monitored by medical staff.

Those infected patients, who don’t meet the criteria will still be treated in medical centres or hospitals.

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Among the 1,551 confirmed cases in the country, 1,318 are follow-up contact cases, 86 are imported cases and 147 are community transmission cases.

Senegal has reported 13 deaths and 611 recoveries since March 2.