Nigeria on Friday confirmed its first case of coronavirus, causing fears that the outbreak could harm the most populous nation of Africa and across the continent.
This case confirmed by the Nigerian Ministry of health, is the first known infection in Africa South of the Sahara. The Ministry stated that the patient was a citizen of Italy, who returned on Tuesday in Lagos, the largest city in the country, from Milan.
In a statement, the Nigerian government said that the patient was stable, had “serious symptoms” and was treated in the infectious diseases hospital in Yabe, a suburb of Lagos.
Despite the steady number of flights and the growing relationship between China and African countries, the only previously confirmed infection on the continent was in Egypt and Algeria.
Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of health of Nigeria, said in his statement that the country strengthens its commitment ever since, as the coronavirus began to spread in China, and that he will respond with all available resources.
In Africa very few confirmed cases, but experts have expressed concern about how the continent will cope with a widespread outbreak.
African centers for disease control and world Health Organization worked with African countries to improve surveillance and testing.
Currently, 26 laboratories on the continent can undertaketesting for coronavirus, compared with two in early February.