Former president of French football club Olympique de Marseille, Pape Diouf, has died after contracting coronavirus – the first death in Senegal from the pandemic.
The 68-year-old man was being treated at Fann Hospital in the capital, Dakar.
Mr Diouf, a Senegalese national who moved to Marseille as a teenager, was president of the football club from 2005 to 2009, according to AFP news agency.
A statement on the Ligue 1 club’s Twitter account said: “Olympique de Marseille learned with great sadness of the death of Pape Diouf. Pape will forever remain in the hearts of Marseillais as one of the great craftsmen in the history of the club. Our condolences to his family and loved ones.”
L’Olympique de Marseille a appris avec beaucoup de tristesse le décès de Pape Diouf.
Pape restera à jamais dans le cœur des Marseillais comme l’un des grands artisans de l’histoire du club.
Toutes nos condoléances à sa famille et ses proches.🖤 pic.twitter.com/w9KyE45JMA
— Olympique de Marseille (@OM_Officiel) March 31, 2020
Senegal has reported 175 cases to date with 40 of them said to have recovered.
Mr Diouf was among two severe cases reported in the country so far. He was in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and was about to be evacuated to France but his frail state made it difficult, according to state media.
The country’s capacity to deal with severe cases of Covid-19 is in doubt after health ministry officials said there are only 24 ICU beds in the country. They hope to add 53 more such bed in 10 days.
Senegal has ordered medical equipment worth $5m (£4m) that will include Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), breathing machines and face masks.