Coronavirus in Africa: Tunisia, Senegal and Morocco confirm first cases

Coronavirus continues to spread across Africa
  • Coronavirus continues to spread across the continent as two North African countries and one in West Africa all have new confirmed cases.
  • Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal have reported their first confirmed cases of the virus, officially known as Covid-19.
  • There are now 10 positive cases on the continent.

Three new cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in West and North Africa.

According to the Associated Press, there is one in Senegal, Tunisia, and another in Morocco.

The virus in Senegal was found in a French citizen who visited France in mid-February. Upon returning to Senegal on February 26, 2020, the unnamed patient went to a medical centre with a fever of 39 degrees Celsius (102 Fahrenheit), sore throat and headache.

Confirming the news, Senegal’s Health Minister, Diouf Sarr said, “That clinic alerted the authorities who have quarantined him in Dakar’s Fann Hospital. The results of the tests carried out by the Pasteur Institute in Dakar came back positive. So far the patient’s condition has not raised any major concerns.

“The patient, a father of two who has been in Senegal for two years, stayed in the Southern French city of Nimes as well as an unspecified ski resort last month."

The health minister added, "The surveillance and response system for COVID-19 has been bolstered and all measures are being taken to contain the disease."

In North Africa, the infected patient in Morocco is a Moroccan man living in Italy. He is reportedly in the non-critical condition in a hospital in Casablanca.

Before this latest development, Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria were the only African countries with confirmed cases of the virus.

Now, the continent of 1.2 billion people has 10 confirmed cases in Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, and Morocco.

Following the continuous spread of the virus across Africa, more testing laboratories, quarantine and hospital treatment facilities are being readied for patients.

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is also training its 54 member countries on how to test for the virus.

Currently, at least 33 countries in Africa can now conduct coronavirus tests, according to Matshidiso Moeti, regional director for Africa at the World Health Organisation(WHO).

As of March 3, 2020, the virus which originated from Wuhan, China has infected more than 90,000 people globally and caused over 3,000 deaths.

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