Africa

3 African nations confirm first coronavirus cases

Central African Republic, Namibia, Eswatini report first cases

Adam Abu-bashal, Omer Erdem and Alaattin Dogru   | 15.03.2020
3 African nations confirm first coronavirus cases

DAKAR/ABUJA

Health ministries in the Central African Republic, Namibia and Eswatini announced Saturday their first cases of coronavirus.

Central African Republic's Health Minister Pierre Somse said tests of a 74-year-old Italian who entered the country March 8 was positive.

Somse said the patient was quarantined with his family and the country has gone into an alarm state.

Namibian Health Minister Dr. Kalumbi Shangula said test of a couple who came from Spain last week turned out to be positive. The pair was quarantined and officials are tracing those who came into contact with them.

Meanwhile, Eswatini Health Ministry announced the country's first case.

Officials said the virus was detected in a woman, 33, who came to Lesotho from the U.S. and from there to Eswatini. She is being treated in quarantine.

Despite the outbreak in a large number of countries in Africa, the death toll from the virus is four with more than 250 cases confirmed on the continent.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the virus known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 123 countries and territories.

The global death toll from the virus has surpassed 5,300 with more than 142,000 cases confirmed worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

A vast majority of those who become infected recover from the illness.

*Writing by Fahri Aksut

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