Nigeria Confirms First Coronavirus Case In Sub-Saharan Africa

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has been a global health scare as it has approaches pandemic level. Now, the first case of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Nigeria, making it the third case in Africa.

According to The Guardian, “Nigerian officials said the case involved an Italian citizen who entered the country on 24 February on a Turkish Airlines flight from Milan via Istanbul.”

The Italian man was treated on February 26 “at his company’s medical facility before health practitioners there called government biosecurity officers.” He is reportedly quarantined at a containment facility in Lagos, clinically stable and does not  have serious symptoms.

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There have been serious concerns of the impact of the coronavirus virus on Africa. Dr. Michel Yao, emergency operations manager in Africa for the World Health Organization, said earlier this month about the virus reaching a country like Zambia, “The problem is, even if it’s mild, it can paralyze the whole community.”

Physiotherapist Fundi Sinkala, who works at Sino-Zambia Friendship Hospital in northern Zambia, where hundreds of employees have traveled back and forth to China, said, “We’re definitely not prepared. If we had a couple of cases, it would spread very quickly. We’re doing the best we can with what resources we have.”

There have been two other cases of the virus reported in Egypt and Algeria. 

On Tuesday (February 25), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the virus spreading to the United States is inevitable. “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness.” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

President Trump has downplayed the coronavirus. He claims the virus is “under control” and will disappear when the weather gets warmer. But also says the CDC is working with the World Health Organization and the Chinese government to contain the outbreak.

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