Coronavirus in Africa, how the pandemic is gaining foothold on the continent

Here’s how the novel coronavirus outbreak unfolded Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)Cases of coronavirus have so far been few and far between in Africa but the numbers are rising rapidly as Nigeria and South Africa Monday announced new cases and the first death is recorded in Egypt.

Egypt with 55 cases — more than half of all confirmed cases in Africa — remains worst-hit by the virus on the continent.

Nine African countries Algeria, South Africa, Senegal, Tunisia, Togo, Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria and Morocco have reported more than 90 coronavirus cases, the World Health Organization said on Monday. In South Africa, the health minister announced that four more people have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of cases to seven there.

All of the new infections are from the same group of ten people who returned from vacation in northern Italy in early March, the minister said. The group of ten were already in self-isolation. Most of the cases in Egypt were found among passengers and crew members aboard a Nile cruise ship coming from southern Egyptian city of Aswan to Luxor, Egypt state-run Ahram Online reported.

Egypt’s Ministry of Health announced on Sunday that a German citizen was the first death from the virus in the country, according to Ahram Online.

In Nigeria, the second patient contracted the illness after they came into contact with an Italian citizen who had traveled to Africa’s most populous country last month, according to the country’s health ministry.

The 44-year-old Italian man visited two states before he was diagnosed with the virus in late February. He remains in isolation in a stable condition, officials said.

Health officials have been working against the clock to trace all those who came into contact with him. Those that have been traced will remain in isolation while tests are conducted, the country’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said.

There has been panic buying and hiking of prices since news of the first case in Nigeria broke. In some places, hand sanitizers are being sold for more than 10 times the normal price.

The Consumer Protection Commission announced its intent to prosecute those who are price gouging in the midst of public apprehension over the virus.

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed for calm and health officials told CNN that Nigeria’s experience with Ebola has prepared the country for outbreaks like coronavirus.Health workers have been deployed at Lagos airport to screen all arriving passengers, while […]

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