UN's first employee with coronavirus among Senegal infections

Senegal was the second sub-Saharan nation to register an infection (AFP Photo/Seyllou)

Dakar (AFP) - A British United Nations employee is one of the four people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Senegal, the organisation said Thursday, confirming it was the UN's first case worldwide.

Senegal announced two new cases on Wednesday, one of which was a 33-year-old English woman who returned from a trip to London to the capital Dakar on February 24.

The UN said on Thursday that the woman was one of its employees.

"The emergency protocol was activated, and the patient is in a hospital in the capital," the UN said in a statement.

"In line with confidentiality requirements with respect to the patient's condition, no further information will be given.

"An investigation by epidemiologists from the ministry of health is currently under way to test people recently in contact with the patient."

A UN spokeswoman in Dakar confirmed to AFP that the woman was the organisation's first employee worldwide to test positive to the deadly virus.

The other case announced on Wednesday was a 68-year-old French woman whose husband had previously tested positive.

The West African country's first two cases were reported earlier in the week.

All four patients are in stable condition, the health ministry said Thursday.

Senegal was the second sub-Saharan nation to register an infection, after Nigeria. South Africa became the third on Thursday.

Experts have expressed concern over the continent's vulnerability to outbreaks of contagious diseases.