The first African known to have contracted the deadly coronavirus is a Cameroonian student in China. The university where he studies confirmed the situation in a statement. According to Yangtze University, the 21-year-old was being treated in hospital in southern Jingzhou city.
The statement said he had gotten the disease whiles visiting the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province. Wuhan is the epicentre of the outbreak which has affected thousands within and outside China so far.
From Wuhan, he returned to his place of residence in Jingzhou, on 19 January, before a lockdown was imposed in Wuhan to prevent the spread of the plague. So far the death toll is over 400 people. The first death outside China was recorded over the weekend in the Philippines.
The coronavirus was confirmed in the Chinese city on January 7, 2020. Cases have since been confirmed in several other Asian countries, Europe and the United States.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, has since declared it a public health emergency of international dimensions. WHO chief Tedros Ghebereyesus said whiles China had a robust health system to detect and control, his outfit remained concerned about the virus entering country’s with weak systems.
Almost all African governments have publicly put in place strict screening at points of entry especially airports. Ivory Coast, Kenya, Ethiopia and Botswana have recorded suspected cases. All except Botswana have reported that the tests were negative. African airlines have cancelled scheduled flights to China except for Ethiopian Airlines.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that range from the common cold to MERS coronavirus, which is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus.
In this article, we will share the latest developments as authorities implement measures to contain the spread of the virus, especially on the African continent.
(Text courtesy of Africanews.com)