Lagos, Nigeria – Through its health ministry, the Nigerian government has confirmed the country’s first case of the deadly coronavirus on February 27.
According to Nigerian officials, the case involved an Italian citizen who entered the country last February 24 on a Turkish Airlines flight from Milan via Istanbul.
The virus has spread rapidly around the world over the past week, appearing in every continent except Antarctica, causing many businesses and governments to try to prevent people to travel or gather in crowded places.
The latest country to declare radical measures on Friday is Switzerland, reporting all events with more than 1,000 participants would be suspended until March 15th. This ban has led to the cancellation of Geneva international motor show which is supposedly scheduled to happen next week – a major fixture on the global car industry calendar.
Nigeria is a densely populated country in Africa with around 200 million citizens, so there are large concerns about the impact of coronavirus spreading widely and rapidly.
There are countries in Africa that are already dealing with severe health crises with limited resources, such as Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Dr.Michel Yao from WHO’s Regional Office for Africa said in a CNN report that there’s progress being made in dealing with health crises in Africa. “All these countries have now laboratory capacity to test for the coronavirus.
The other component is related to treatment, so for them to ensure that they have treatment capacity and also have… a contingency plan should there be a good number of cases that could challenge many of the African health services.” he added.
According to WHO head Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the coronavirus outbreak has reached a “decisive point” and has “pandemic potential”.
He urged governments to act aggressively and swiftly to contain the killer virus.
“We are actually in a very delicate situation in which the outbreak can go in any direction based on how we handle it,” he said.
“This is not a time for fear. This is a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives now,” he added.