Coronavirus gaining foothold in Africa as confirmed cases hit 106

A blood sample which has tested positive for Coronavirus. 1,344 more people have tested positive for the disease/COURTESY

Novel Coronavirus is slowly but gradually gaining a foothold in Africa, more than three months since the outbreak was first reported in Huabei province in China.

This is after the no of confirmed cases surpassed the 100th mark on Wednesday.

106 confirmed cases have been reported in Africa with East Africa being the only region that has escaped recording a confirmed case.

On Tuesday, the Democratic Republic of Congo where the last Ebola patient was discharged last week announced its first confirmed case in a Belgian national who arrived in the country last week.

On Wednesday, the South African health minister Zweli Mkize announced six new confirmed cases of the virus bringing to 13 the total number of cases in the country.

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“Those who are symptomatic have started receiving treatment. Some of these patients are already in hospital while some, specifically those who are asymptomatic, are in self-quarantine. Contact tracing has also started for all these cases,” Mkhize is quoted as saying by the BBC.

His announcement comes just a day after the government dispatched a plane to rescue more than 100 South Africans stuck in Wuhan while on Sunday, a patient of Thai origin escaped the Wilkins hospital in neighboring Zimbabwe shorty before a Coronavirus test could be administered on him according to the health minister Obadiah Moyo.

South Africa is the sub-Saharan country with the highest number of cases with Senegal coming in second at four cases.

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On Tuesday, Morocco which has recorded 2 cases recorded its first death and the second in Africa.

The first death was recorded in Egypt which has recorded 59 cases.

Other countries that have recorded cases include: Algeria at 20, Tunisia at 5, Cameroon, Nigeria and Burkina Faso at 2 each and Togo at 1.

However, governments have been increasingly taking measures in a bid to prevent the virus from digging its claws further into the continent,

On Monday, the UN indefinitely postponed the Africa climate week that was scheduled to be held in April in Kampala while governments in Gabon and Ghana temporarily banned their civil servants from traveling outside their countries.

Last week, Tunisia banned ferry services across the Mediterranean to Italy which has recorded the highest number of cases and deaths after China.

All the confirmed cases in Africa been from travellers arriving from Europe