Authorities in Africa and the Caribbean have begun implementing various screening and preventive measures as the deadly coronavirus spreads.
Coronavirus, officially known as COVID_19, began in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has since been spreading fast across the world, with over 3,000 deaths.
At the moment, the countries most affected after China are South Korea (over 5,000 cases), Italy (over 3,000 cases), Iran (about 2,922 cases) and Japan (317 cases).
Africa now has more than 30 cases of the virus and has not had any major outbreak as of yet. The continent has large populations of students spread across China. Many more also go to China from Africa for purposes of trade. Recently, African airlines including Kenyan Airways, RwandAir, and Air Madagascar suspended trips to China in the wake of the growing concerns around the threat posed by the virus. Nevertheless, the cases in Africa have all so far been linked to Europe.
At the moment, concerns are being raised about Africa’s capacity to deal with the issues on the magnitude of what the coronavirus seems to be shaping up to be.
As talks such as these continue, here are the countries on the continent with confirmed cases of coronavirus:
Egypt confirmed the first recorded case of coronavirus in Africa on February 15. The number of confirmed cases has risen to 55, as of Monday. Authorities say a German citizen who came to the country a week ago had died from the virus, marking the country’s first death from the outbreak. On Saturday, 33 passengers onboard a River Nile cruise ship were also found to be infected.
As of March 4, the total number of people affected by the virus in the country is 17. Sixteen cases are from the same family in the Blida province of the capital Algiers, and an Italian man, according to Reuters.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, recorded sub-Saharan Africa’s first confirmed case of the virus last month. This was after an Italian citizen who works in the country flew into the commercial capital Lagos from Milan, February 25. On Monday, the West African country confirmed a second case. The individual had been in contact with the Italian man and is being treated at a hospital in the Yaba district of Lagos, reported Reuters.
Health authorities have confirmed four cases of the virus with one patient cured and soon to be released from the hospital. The government has announced that it would roll out over $2 million to fight the epidemic.
5. South Africa
Three people have contracted the coronavirus in South Africa. They had all been to Italy, according to authorities. The country is, at the moment, putting in place measures to contain the spread of the virus.
The country recorded its first case of coronavirus on Friday, a 42-year-old woman who recently traveled to France, Germany, and Turkey. The patient has been isolated at an infectious disease treatment center and there are no major concerns regarding her health, according to authorities.
The country has placed a total of 37 people in quarantine after a Tunisian who returned from Italy tested positive to coronavirus. Last week, the country suspended Northern Italy Ferry Services over the deadly virus.
The country has two confirmed cases of COVID-19, including a Moroccan citizen who returned from Italy, said health authorities.
It confirmed the central African state’s first case of COVID-19 last Friday, a French citizen who arrived in Cameroon on February 24. A second case has just been recorded as authorities call for increased hygiene measures.
The number of cases in the Caribbean has risen to 12, as of March 7. Authorities have so far been extending travel advice to U.S. tourists and vacationers and have been putting in place measures to contain the spread of the virus. The following are the countries with confirmed cases in the region:
1. Dominican Republic
The country, as of Saturday, had recorded two COVID-19 cases, both linked to an east coast hotel. There are health screenings in place while travelers with a travel history from China will be registered and monitored. Flights from Milan, Italy have been canceled and cruise ships with potential COVID-19 patients may not be given docking privileges, according to reports. Flights to Puerto Rico will also be diverted to the San Juan airport (LMMIA).
2. French Guiana
Five coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in the French overseas territory. Local media said the five probably got infected in France while participating in a religious rally which was held in Mulhouse from February 17 to 24. They are so far being treated in a hospital.
Authorities say there are two cases of coronavirus in the French Island of Martinique. It was announced last Thursday that two people tested positive at the Martinique University Hospital. The two are being managed by officials.
4. St. Martin
There are two confirmed cases of coronavirus and the country has so far activated what it calls the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC will “continue with the preparedness, response and mitigation measures that need to be taken in connection with the coronavirus COVID-19 and will continue to function on a heightened level of awareness,” reports eturbonews.com.
The government ministries and key areas such as the ports of entry have protocols in place to deal with any likely cases of COVID-19.
5. Saint Barthelemy
One case of coronavirus has been confirmed on the French island of St. Barthélemy.
People are currently being advised to protect against the spread of the virus with actions such as washing their hands and covering their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.