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Nigeria: Africa’s most populous nation records first Coronavirus case in Subsaharan Africa

Nigeria’s Ministry of Health has confirmed a coronavirus(Covid-19) case in Lagos State Nigeria. The case which was confirmed on February 27, 2020 is the first case to be reported in Nigeria and Sub-saharan Africa since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020.

The nation’s Minister of health Dr. Osagie Ehanire shared on twitter that the patient is a foreign national with no serious symptoms and has been placed in treatment with the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba.

Dr. Ehanire added that the Nigeria Centre for disease control is working closely with the Lagos State Ministry of Health to identify all contacts of the patient.

In a statement he equally shared, the Health Minister disclosed the infected person was an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy to Lagos Feb. 25.

His infection was confirmed by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

The minister said authorities have been strengthening measures to ensure an outbreak in Nigeria is controlled and contained quickly.

There is no cure for the coronavirus, which can lead to pneumonia, and a vaccine may take up to 18 months to develop.

Radical quarantining measures have helped slow the rate of transmission in China of the virus, which can cause pneumonia, but it is picking up pace outside China.

Dr. Ehanire said the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has activated its national Emergency Operations Centre and will work closely with Lagos State Health authorities to respond to this case and implement firm control measures.

Air travel data Monday suggested – in order of decreasing likelihood – that Egypt, Algeria, South Africa, Nigeria, and Ethiopia have the highest “importation risk”, via The New Humanitarian.

As the threat of coronavirus disease looms over the continent, the World Health Organization (WHO) promised last week to support African Union Member States on a common preparedness and response strategy.

WHO joined Health Ministers in an Emergency Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease Outbreak, which was convened on February 22 by the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

WHO informed that it had conducted a survey with countries to assess their overall readiness for COVID-19 and found the regional readiness level was an estimated 66%.

The World Health Organisation has shared basic protective measures against the new coronavirus.

The virus has so far caused nearly 80,000 infections and almost 2,800 deaths, according official Chinese figures. It has spread to another 46 countries, where about 3,700 cases and 57 deaths have been reported, according to the WHO.

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