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Coronavirus arrives in sub-Saharan Africa

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Nigeria confirmed on Friday that it recorded the first infection with the emerging coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa, at a time when fears of the spread of the epidemic on a global level caused a retreat in the financial markets in the world and caused governments to take very strict measures.

The World Health Organization has called on all countries where no casualties have been recorded to prepare for the arrival of the epidemic as Cofid-19, warning that it will make a “fatal mistake” if it thinks it is immune from it.

The Nigerian Ministry of Health stated that Italy is working in Nigeria and returned from Milan on February 25, was transferred to the hospital in Lagos State after tests revealed that he was HIV positive, to be the first case recorded in sub-Saharan Africa.

The ministry added in a statement that “the patient is in a stable condition and does not show disturbing symptoms.”

Two other infections were reported in recent days in North Africa, particularly in Egypt and Algeria. Epidemiologists are surprised by the very low rate of infections in African countries, despite the deterioration of their health systems, at a time when the number of infections in the rest of the world exceeded 81 thousand injuries.

China was until recently the only epicenter of the epidemic in the world, but new spots have emerged, such as South Korea, Iran and Italy.

On Friday, South Korea announced 256 new cases, bringing the total number of cases to 2022, of whom 13 died.

As for China, where the new virus appeared in December, it published a total of 327 new infections, the lowest number recorded in this country since June 24, and 44 dead, raising the total epidemic toll in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao). To 78,824 injuries and 2788 deaths since the outbreak of the disease.

For its part, Iran announced on Thursday 106 new injuries, bringing the total number of injuries to 245, of whom 26 died. As for Europe, the number of injuries in Italy increased to 650, after the outcome of 400 the day before, 17 of them died.

The Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanum Gebresos, announced Thursday that the emerging coronavirus has reached a “critical point” globally, noting that during the past two days, the daily number of new infections in the world exceeded that of China.

“You should not think that a country will not report infections on its soil, it will be a fatal mistake, literally. The virus does not adhere to the borders,” he warned.

Outside of China, the virus now affects about fifty countries in the world, with the toll increasing to more than four thousand and sixty deaths.

Countries are taking drastic measures to try to contain the spread of Covid-19. In Japan, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered Thursday the closure of all public schools for a month, the “Oriental Land” operator of “Disneyland” and “Disney Sea” in Tokyo Friday announced that the two amusement parks will be closed from February 29 to March 15 .

In South Korea, the Korean pop group BTS canceled four major shows scheduled for April in Seoul.

As a precautionary measure, Saudi Arabia suspended “temporarily” entry for those wishing to perform Umrah to its lands and visit Medina. Umrah rites attract millions of Muslims annually from various countries of the world.

In the United States, which has remained relatively untouched by the disease, California authorities announced Thursday that it is tracking about 8,400 people to verify that they do not carry the new virus, and at the same time is seeking to reveal the way the infection spread to a person who caught the virus without having visited any exposed area.

On Thursday, Iran announced the death of seven people, bringing the total number of deaths to 26 in this country with the highest number of deaths after China.

Italy New Focus

Some countries raise concerns, including Italy, which appears increasingly to be the epicenter of the spread of the epidemic, with the first outbreak of the emerging corona in South America (Brazil) and sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria) through two people from Italy recently. Greece, Spain, Britain, Croatia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Algeria announced the injury of at least one person after a visit to Italy.

Many European countries have strengthened their preventive measures and advised their citizens not to visit the HIV-infected areas in Italy.

Rome has taken drastic measures, including imposing quarantine on 11 towns in the north, which is the economic lung of the country.

“The problem is the economy. We see the numbers, this crisis is overwhelming the country,” said candy maker in the northern Italian village of Sicunago Daniele Vaccari.

– “Confrontation as best as possible” –

Other European countries reported injuries, including the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania, Northern Macedonia and Belarus.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday that “we are facing an epidemic” that “will have to be met” as best it can be.

On Friday, the financial markets in Asia recorded a decline that is expected to lead them to the worst week they have known since the 2008-2009 financial crisis when an economic downturn occurred in the world. After Wall Street deteriorated Thursday (-4.42% for the Dow Jones and 46.61% for the Nasdaq), the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell more than 3,67% at Friday’s close.


This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.

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