82.8 Overall Score (up 8.3 since Aug 1st.)


  • 67.5 Public Health
  • 44.2 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based
  • 67.5 Public Health
  • 44.2 Financial
  • 100 Fact-Based

Senegal’s COVID-19 policy response has been relatively strong across the board, buoyed by a high degree of preparedness and a reliance on facts and science.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Senegal is among the most poorly performing countries on infant mortality, hospital beds, wealth, and healthcare.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 61.6%
  • GDP/capita $4,079
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 40.3
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 32
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 44.4
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 1.5

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Oct 1.)

Public Health Directives

Senegal has had relatively strong public health policy, implementing an early and strict stay-at-home order and strongly restricting public gatherings; limited testing and minimal emergency healthcare spending bring its score down.

  • Stay at home order 0
  • Public gathering restrictions 2
  • School closings 2
  • Public event cancellations 1
  • Testing policy 2
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $6.33
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 11.1
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Senegal had a median financial response to the pandemic, particularly its very generous debt-forbearance policy, which counterbalances relatively weak income support and a small stimulus.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 5.7%
  • Income support 1
  • Debt forebearance 2

Fact-Based Communication

Senegal’s government is very strong in this category, as it has not engaged in misinformation or limited press freedom in response to COVID-19.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Oct 1

Senegal is very strong in this category, with low numbers of cases and deaths, likely heavily aided by its very high public health policy score.

  • Total deaths 311
  • Death rate per 100K 18.6
  • Total cases 14,982
  • Cases per 100K 895
  • Percent of positive tests 2.3
  • Change in positivity rates -6.7
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 3 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 May 11 Mosques, churches, and businesses are allowed to reopen 4.50
2 Jun 30 Curfew ends 6.21

Differentiating Factors

  • Universities open: Universities opened and students will attend classes in-person or rotation as cases remain low. Read More
  • Education through television: Senegal continues to take a creative approach to COVID-19, releasing plans for remote learning by broadcasting lessons and lectures on TV while its schools remain closed. Read More
  • Guaranteed beds for COVID-19 patients: Senegal's strategy has centered around an early pledge made by the government that every diagnosed coronavirus patient would receive a hospital bed. Read More
  • Ebola experience key to COVID-19 success: Preparation has been key to Senegal's early success in keeping cases low. Since the Ebola outbreak five years ago, the government has run several simulations providing training to respond to virus outbreaks, and health officials created a COVID-19 response plan in early January, over a month before the country's first case was reported. Read More
  • Food and electricity relief for 1 million: The government announced a generous Economic and Social Resilience Program that will provide food and pay electricity bills for nearly one million households struggling as a result of the pandemic. Read More
Compared with Other African Countries
  • 87.7
    Ethiopia 75,368
    Per 1M

    Despite having relatively weak pre-pandemic capacity, swift action and prevention-based messaging from the government helped to mitigate spread early on in the crisis; however, Ethiopia faced a notable uptick in cases in August following easing of quarantine restrictions.

  • 92.3
    Ghana 46,656
    Per 1M

    Ghana scores very strongly on the Index, due primarily to its proactive public health policy, strong examples set by leadership, and reliance on facts, but its financial response was relatively weak, with a minimal stimulus and little income support.

  • 93.6
    Kenya 38,529
    Per 1M

    Kenya has a very strong overall policy score, consistently scoring well in all areas, particularly its reliance on facts and science on COVID-19.

  • 69
    South Africa 674,339
    Per 1M

    South Africa has had a medium policy response, driven by a vigorous lockdown, although its financial response, particularly its relatively small stimulus package, brings its score down. Despite its high score, its limited testing might explain why it is experiencing a spike in cases.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million