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Nigeria confirms first coronavirus case in sub Saharan Africa

Nigeria has confirmed the first case of coronavirus in sub Saharan Africa. Nigeria’s Health Ministry said the confirmed case was an Italian citizen who traveled to Lagos.

The man who works in Nigeria, had returned from Milan to Lagos on February 25, the ministry said. “The patient is clinically stable, with no serious symptoms, and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We have already started working to identify all the contacts of the patient, since he entered Nigeria,” the ministry added, urging citizens not to panic. “Citizens must not abuse social media and indulge in spreading misinformation that causes fear and panic,” it said.

The patient is being treated at a hospital in the Lagos district of Yaba.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged all countries to be prepared for potential pandemic.

“This virus has pandemic potential and WHO is providing the tools for every country to prepare accordingly. The primary objective of all countries with cases must be to contain the virus,” Mr Tedros said.

According to WHO, China has reported 78,190 including 2718 deaths. On 25th February only 10 new cases of coronavirus were reported in China outside of Hubei province.

“The key message that should give all countries hope, courage and confidence is that this virus can be contained, Mr Tedros said. “Indeed, there are many countries that have done exactly that. 14 countries that have had cases have not reported a case for more than a week, and even more importantly, 9 countries have not reported a case for more than two weeks: Belgium, Cambodia, Finland, India, Nepal, Philippines, the Russian Federation, Sri Lanka and Sweden. But that doesn’t mean that cases may not come back to these countries. But the cases that made it before have been contained.”