Coronavirus: Cameroon and Togo confirm first cases


Coronavirus: Cameroon and Togo confirm first cases
Medical workers in protective suits move a patient at an isolated ward of a hospital in Caidian district following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 6, 2020. Picture taken February 6, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

In Summary

  • Togo also registered its first case of coronavirus on Friday.
  • The patient is a 42-year old female resident of the capital Lome who had visited Benin, Germany, France and Turkey in late February and early March.
  • South Africa on Thursday confirmed its first case of coronavirus, affecting a citizen who had passed through the main airport showing no symptoms on his way back from a trip to Italy.

Cameroon’s health ministry on Friday confirmed its first case of coronavirus, a 58-year-old French citizen who arrived in the capital Yaounde on February 24.

It said the man has been quarantined in the city’s Central Hospital.

“All measures have been taken by the government to contain potential risks of the virus spreading,” it said in a statement.

The West African country of Togo also registered its first case of coronavirus on Friday.

The patient is a 42-year old female resident of the capital Lome who had visited Benin, Germany, France and Turkey in late February and early March.

She is being treated in isolation and her condition is stable, the government said in a statement.

South Africa on Thursday confirmed its first case of coronavirus, affecting a citizen who had passed through the main airport showing no symptoms on his way back from a trip to Italy.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told journalists that authorities would start a wider search for contacts of the patient.

Mkhize, addressing lawmakers in parliament, said: “I think we need to be upfront about it … Our system will be tested by the impact of coronavirus.”

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the repatriation of nearly 200 citizens from Wuhan, and Mkhize said those citizens will be returning home in the next few days.

He also warned that the virus would hurt travel and tourism, and have a negative impact on South Africa’s already struggling economy, but urged citizens not to panic.

“We will keep informing South Africans openly and transparently about a number of steps we will be taking because this will turn out to be a national crisis,” the president said.

“It will have a huge impact on travel, and a negative impact also on our economy. It is already showing signs of having a negative impact on our tourism.”

Meanwhile, two British Airways members of staff have tested positive for coronavirus.

The airline said on Friday that they have been isolated and are recovering at home.

“Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that two members of our staff have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus,” it said in a statement.

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