Nigeria announced on Friday the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The case is an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria and returned from Milan, Italy, to Lagos, Nigeria on February 25, 2020,” Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said in a statement on Twitter.
The Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed a case of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the state of Lagos in Nigeria. The case which was confirmed on 02/27/2020 is the first case reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the epidemic in China in January 2020 @WHO @BBCWorld #CoronaVirusUpdates pic.twitter.com/uF79NYzvAz
– Federal Ministry of Health, NIGERIA (@Fmohnigeria) February 27, 2020
“The patient is clinically stable, with no severe symptoms, and is treated at the infectious disease hospital in Yaba, Lagos.” Before the case in Nigeria, only two cases had surfaced across Africa – in Egypt and Algeria – – a tally that puzzled health experts, given the continent’s close economic ties to China.
The World Health Organization warned earlier this week that African health systems are not equipped to respond to the deadly coronavirus epidemic if cases start to proliferate on the continent.