By Sola Ogundipe
The World Health Organization, WHO, has confirmed COVID-19 infection in Algeria. The case, reported by the Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform of Algeria is the country’s first case of COVID-19 and the second in Africa.
Health authorities report that tests indicate that an Italian adult, who arrived in the country on the 17th of February 2020 tested positive for coronavirus disease.
This follows Africa’s first COVID-19 case which was reported earlier in Egypt.
Algeria is one of the 47 countries in the World Health Organization, WHO, African region.
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“This is the first case in the WHO African region,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “The window of opportunity the continent has had to prepare for coronavirus disease is closing. All countries must ramp up their preparedness activities.”
Algeria, like Nigeria, is one of 13 countries, which WHO has identified as a top priority for preparedness measures due to their direct links or a high volume of travel to China.
WHO is preparing to deploy a team of experts to Algeria to support health authorities.
As of 4.00 GMT, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections stood at 80,994 with 2,760 deaths and about 30,000 had recovered. At least 42 countries had been affected.