First coronavirus case reported in Africa as 46,550 confirmed in China

World Yen Doran 17-Feb-2020
Coronavirus outbreak
ID 170766278 © Alexander Yakimov |

On Feb. 14, Africa recorded its first case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) with a foreigner tested positive having been isolated at a hospital in Egypt.

Egyptian Health Ministry said it had informed the WHO and the local authorities had taken all necessary preventative measures.

No further details such as nationality or gender of the affected person was provided by the ministry.

A total of 17 African countries, including Nigeria, have confirmed having facilities where the disease can be detected.

Apart from Egypt, other countries where the virus has been confirmed are Singapore, UK, Malaysia, Taiwan, Spain, Vietnam, Germany, UAE, France, Japan, Thailand, Canada, Australia, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Cambodia, and the United States.

WHO said it could take 18 months for the first vaccine for coronavirus to be ready and available.

Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said this in a statement on Feb. 14 that China has reported 1,820 laboratory-confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 46,550.

Among reported cases, 13,332 clinically confirmed cases are in Hubei province.

In Hubei province, only a trained medical professional can now classify a suspected case of COVID-19 as a clinically-confirmed case on the basis of chest imaging, rather than having to have a laboratory confirmation.

WHO will continue to track both laboratory and clinically-confirmed cases in Hubei province.

Outside China, there are 447 cases from 24 other countries and two deaths recorded. In addition to the death in the Philippines, there is now another death in Japan.