There are now at least 229 positive cases of the novel coronavirus on the African continent, according to health officials, with the first confirmed cases in Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Rwanda and Seychelles among them.
The Department of Health on Seychelles said two of its citizens returned to the Indian Ocean island nation from Italy on March 11. They sought medical care for symptoms on Saturday, were immediately tested and placed in isolation after positive COVID-19 results were determined.
“Passengers from the Emirates flight EK 705 in the morning of Wednesday, 11th March 2020, are advised that the Public Health Authority has begun contact tracing and that they will be contacted by officials from the Public Health Authority,” the health ministry said.
Rwandan officials said their case involved an Indian citizen who traveled from Mumbai on March 8. “He is currently under treatment in stable condition, isolated from other patients,” the health ministry said.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said the cases are among those in 23 countries, as of Saturday. They also include Ghana, Guinea, Gabon, Ethiopia and Kenya, with Sudan adding a fatal case on Friday. Sudan’s case involves a man in his 50s who returned from the United Arab Emirates last week and died on Thursday in Khartoum.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, said Friday that the world has passed the milestone of 5,000 fatalities, with more than 132,000 cases in 132 countries.
“This is a new virus and a new situation. We’re all learning, and we must all find new ways to prevent infections, save lives, and minimize impact,” he said. “All countries have lessons to share.”
Image: Africa CDC