Chad, Niger reports first COVID-19 cases

Blood sample depicting a positive corona virus case.PHOTO/Anadalou agency

Niger announced its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus Thursday.

The patient, a 36-year-old Niger citizen, had recently traveled to Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

It added that the patient is in stable condition after receiving treatment.

Niger has taken several measures to prevent the entry of the coronavirus, including closing its land borders and international airports in Niamey and Zinder.

Understanding how the pandemic will evolve in Africa is still a work in progress, according to health experts.

They underline that the response will need to be adapted to the African context as demographics on the continent are very different from China, Europe and the U.S.

The virus, officially known as COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan, China last December and has spread to at least 160 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

There are now 242,092 confirmed cases worldwide, while the death toll exceeds 9,800 and more than 84,900 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.

Despite the rising number of cases, most who become infected suffer only mild symptoms and recover.

Meanwhile,Chad also confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Thursday, a Moroccan national who had traveled to the country from Cameroon, the government said in a statement.