By Jared Oundo,
Two countries apiece to the East and the West of Africa recorded index cases of coronavirus pandemic. The current tally of countries affected is thirty according to Africanews tallies.
Somalia and Tanzania to the east and Liberia and Benin in West Africa. Benin reported its first coronavirus case via a government statement that disclosed that the said patient was a 49 year-old Burkinabe citizen who entered the country last week, March 12.
The government said the patient had been isolated and contact tracing was underway. It also advised the public to observe strict hygiene to ensure that they are protected. Benin is the ninth West African country to record a case.
The government had weeks back set aside 7 billion CFA for intervention purposes. Togo’s index case had crossed into the country using the land border with Benin.
Liberia on the other hand confirmed first the case of how the virus was imported by a government official who recently returned from Switzerland. The head of Liberia’s environmental protection agency is currently in isolation, whiles contact tracing is underway.
In an address after the confirmation, President George Weah called for concerted efforts to combat COVID19 virus including observing good personal hygiene. He stressed that government will do all it takes to ensure that citizens are safe.
Over in Tanzania, Health Minister confirmed the first case of a Tanzanian woman who only returned to the country yesterday. She is in isolation at a government hospital, local media outlets report.
Somalia’s first case of coronavirus was announced on national TV by health minister, Fowsiya Abukar. The patient she said is a Somali national who has recently returned from abroad.
The authorities also announced a suspension on all international flights for two weeks, starting on 18 March. Even though last week a category of travellers from high-risk countries were banned from entry.
Currently in West Africa only Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Mali, Niger – are uninfected. In the case of East Africa and the Horn of Africa region, Eritrea, South Sudan, Djibouti and Burundi have not recorded cases.