Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa hit by the epidemic to seven.
The patient is a Belgian citizen who had been in Congo for several days. He and others with him have been placed in quarantine, Congolese health minister Eteni Longondo said on Radio Okapi.
“What I’d like to tell people is not to panic,” he said.
Democratic Republic of Congo becomes the seventh sub-Saharan African country to report positive tests for coronavirus.
Latest figures indicate there are now over 100 confirmed coronavirus cases across Africa.
The outbreak has largely spared sub-Saharan Africa so far, but since February a few cases have been registered in Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon, Togo and Burkina Faso. North African countries have registered dozens of cases.
The coronavirus was confirmed in the Chinese city of Wuhan on January 7, 2020. Cases have since been confirmed in over 80 countries across the globe.
Here are the latest numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa:
Egypt – 59
Algeria – 20
Senegal – 4
South Africa – 7
Morocco – 2
Cameroon – 2
Tunisia – 2
Togo – 1
Nigeria – 2
Burkina Faso – 2
DRC – 1
The World Health Organisation, WHO, has since declared it a public health emergency of international dimensions.
WHO chief Tedros Ghebereyesus said whiles China had a robust health system to detect and control, his outfit remained concerned about the virus entering country’s with weak systems.
Almost all African governments have publicly put in place strict screening at points of entry especially airports. Cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Senegal and Nigeria. African airlines have cancelled scheduled flights to China except for Ethiopian Airlines.