Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 July 2020

Egypt confirms first coronavirus case in Africa

The sufferer was not Egyptian, the ministry said in a statement, without specifying the nationality

Medical workers in protective suits inspect equipment at a blood donation room of the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Hubei province, China February 14, 2020. Reuters
Medical workers in protective suits inspect equipment at a blood donation room of the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, in Hubei province, China February 14, 2020. Reuters

Egypt's health ministry on Friday announced the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Africa.

The sufferer was not Egyptian, the ministry said in a statement, without specifying the nationality.

"The ministry has taken preventative measures and is monitoring the patient... who is stable," said health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed.

Egyptian authorities had notified the World Health Organization and the patient been placed in quarantined isolation in hospital.

The death toll from the epidemic virus has neared 1,400 cases, almost exclusively in China where it was first identified.

Deep trade links with China and often overstretched healthcare systems have raised concerns about the capacity of African countries to respond to an outbreak.

Earlier this month, Egypt suspended all flights on its national carrier to China. They will remain grounded until the end of the month.

Three hundred and one Egyptians were evacuated from Wuhan, where the virus started in China, and have remained in quarantine for 14 days.

Updated: February 16, 2020 02:15 PM

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