- Coronavirus has entered the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
- The Central African country has reported its first case of the virus, officially known as COVID-19.
- Now, Africa has a total of 101 confirmed cases and counting.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has joined the number of countries with confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
It was detected in a Congolese who recently entered the country's capital - Kinshasa from his residence in France. The patient was immediately quarantined once he came in through the airport.
Health Minister Eteni Longondo said, ''I would like to announce to the Congolese population that we diagnosed this morning the first case of coronavirus. It has been discovered in a Belgian national who has come to stay here for a few days."
According to the health authorities, the unnamed patient has since been isolated.
As a preventive measure, passengers entering from affected areas like China, Italy, France and Belgium have all been quarantined.
This news comes less than a week after the country successfully ended the largest Ebola outbreak in history.
“It is sad to hear that just as the DRC appears to be near ending its worst Ebola outbreak, a new virus is threatening the health of its citizens,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.
“However, some of the readiness efforts put in place during the Ebola outbreak may help the country respond to COVID-19. WHO is here to support you, just as we continue to do in the Ebola response.”
As of today, March 11, 2020, there are over 100 cases of the coronavirus in Africa. Since the virus originated in China, it has reached over 100 countries and territories.
The global death toll is now over 4,299 with more than 119 217 confirmed cases. At this rate, WHO says the “threat of a pandemic has become very real."