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Liberia announces 1st coronavirus case

Nathaniel Balma, head of Liberia's Environmental Protection Agency, visited Switzerland before testing positive

Liberia announces 1st coronavirus case


The West African nation of Liberia has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, and has announced a ban on traveling to countries that have more than 200 cases of the epidemic, local media reports said Monday.

Nathaniel Balma, the head of Liberia's Environmental Protection Agency, tested positive for the virus after traveling to Switzerland and returning last Friday, the Africa News website reported, citing a statement by Information Minister Eugene Nagbe.

The announcement reportedly caused panic in the Liberian capital Monrovia, with residents rushing to buy hand sanitizers and face masks, said the website.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 141 countries and territories.

The global death toll from the virus is now around 6,400, with nearly 165,000 cases, according to the World Health Organization, which declared the outbreak a pandemic.

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