The Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform of Algeria has confirmed the country’s first case of the coronavirus in an announcement on state-owned ENTV on Tuesday evening.
Health authorities report that tests indicate that an Italian adult, who arrived in the country on 17 February 2020 has tested positive for coronavirus disease
The patient has since been placed in isolation.
Algeria becomes the first African country with a confirmed case of coronavirus.
Egypt was the first to report a case of the disease but later announced that the patient carrying the coronavirus had tested negative for it.
“This is the first case in the WHO African region,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The window of opportunity the continent has had to prepare for coronavirus disease is closing. All countries must ramp up their preparedness activities.”
Algeria is one of 13 countries, which WHO has identified as a top priority for preparedness measures due to their direct links or high volume of travel to China.
WHO is preparing to deploy a team of experts to Algeria to support health authorities.