Ethiopia has announced its first case of the deadly coronavirus on Friday, bringing the cases recorded in East Africa to two.
The health ministry confirmed the patient is a 48-year-old Japanese man who had arrived in the country on March 4 from Burkina Faso.
“He is undergoing medical follow-up and is in a stable condition. Those who have been in contact with this person are being traced and quarantined,” the ministry said in a statement.
This is coming hours after Kenya also confirmed its first coronavirus in a Kenyan woman who travelled from the United States via London, Britain.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said that although the patient is stable, she will not be released from the Kenyatta National Hospital’s Infectious Disease Unit, where she is being treated until she is confirmed negative.
Kagwe said the government has traced all contacts the 27-year-old patient made since her arrival on March 5.
Consequently, Kenya has suspended all travel outside the country unless necessary. Public gatherings are also suspended, including all inter-school events, sports, rallies and crusades. However, religious institutions can hold their meetings as long they provide hand sanitisers.
The coronavirus (Covid-19), whose epicentre was in Wuhan, China, has now killed nearly 5,000 people and infected more than 130,000 worldwide as at Friday.
Sub-Saharan Africa has so far been less badly hit by the virus than Europe or China. Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Senegal and Togo have also registered cases.