By Al Jazeera
Nigeria reported the first new coronavirus case in sub-Saharan Africa on Friday, as global stock markets tanked on deepening fears of a pandemic and the World Health Organization warned against the “fatal mistake” of complacency.
On Friday, Nigeria reported its first case: an Italian man who returned to densely populated Lagos early this week. Cases had previously been reported in Egypt and Algeria, but not in the sub-Saharan region.
The low number of cases across Africa, which has close economic ties with China, has puzzled health specialists and raised questions about authorities’ capabilities to detect the virus.
Commissioner Akin Abayomi said the man was transferred to Lagos State Biosecurity Facilities for isolation and testing. The patient was clinically stable with no serious symptoms and was being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
Hopes that the coronavirus would be contained to China have vanished as the first case in sub-Saharan Africa was announced in Nigeria and stock markets took a pounding amid fears of a global recession.
In China – the epicentre of the deadly disease – the National Health Commission reported on Friday at least 44 new coronavirus deaths, bringing to 2,788 the number of fatalities nationwide.
Coronavirus has killed more than 2,800 people and infected about 83,000 worldwide.