Nigeria confirms first case of Coronavirus in West Africa

Novieku Babatunde Adeola February 28, 2020
Photo: Reuters

Nigeria has on Friday confirmed its first case of Coronavirus

The first in sub-Saharan Africa, it was confirmed after an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria flew into the commercial capital Lagos from Milan, February 25.

According to the Ministry of Health, “the patient is stable with no serious symptoms and is being treated at an Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.

“We have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient since he entered Nigeria,” the ministry added, urging citizens not to panic. “Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic,” it said.

The government has been strengthening measures “to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly,” according to the statement.

Nigeria confirms first case of Coronavirus in West Africa

Since the virus was confirmed in Mainland China, more than 83, 000 people have been affected globally. At least, 2, 800 people have been killed worldwide. Antarctica is the only continent that hasn’t been affected by the virus.

Earlier this week, Algeria confirmed the second case on the continent when another Italian passenger entered the country on February 17. The Health authorities in Algeria said the patient has been quarantined and under close supervision. 

Egypt was the first country in Africa to record a confirmed Coronavirus case.

There are concerns that the virus might spread widely after Nigeria, Africa’s populous country with over 200 million citizens registered its first case.

The World Health Organisation said that an outbreak in Africa would hit the continent harder than it hit China.

In other related news, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered the repatriation of about 132 South Africans living in China’s Wuhan City, BBC reported.

The decision was announced on Thursday following a cabinet meeting and after requests from families of South Africans living in the city, the president’s office said.

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Passengers file past airport medical at the Muritala Mohammed Airport_Photo: BBC

None of them has been diagnosed with the virus or exhibited any symptom of the disease, but they will be quarantined for 21 days upon arrival in South Africa as a “precautionary measure”, the president’s office announced in a statement.

Coronavirus South Africans

“Government has been in constant communication with the families of all affected individuals and relevant departments have made the necessary arrangements to receive them,” it added.

Meanwhile, The South African Health Department has confirmed that two South African crew members on-board The Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have tested positive for coronavirus. The vessel had at least 3, 700 people on board.

Nigeria confirms first case of Coronavirus in West Africa
Ten other South African crew members remain on board the Diamond Princess_Photo: Getty images

In a statement, the Health Department confirmed that the South Africans – the first of “our compatriots to test positive for coronavirus – were being treated in Japan. The remaining 10, who tested negatively for the disease, are still subject to a 14-day quarantine period. They face further isolation upon returning to Mzansi”.

Last Edited by:Kent Mensah Updated: February 28, 2020


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