WATCH | Coronavirus hits Africa: what we know so far

28 February 2020 - 13:59 By Zama Luthuli

The first confirmed case of coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa has caused major concern across the continent. 

Nigeria reported the first coronavirus case in the region on Friday after an infected Italian citizen returned to the densely populated country from Milan this week. 

World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday in Geneva:  “No country should assume it won't get cases. That could be a fatal mistake, quite literally. This virus does not respect borders."

The WHO has warned that African health systems are ill-equipped to respond should the virus spread on the continent.

Nigerians expressed their concerns about the first confirmed case in the country, calling on the government to take immediate action to avoid the spread of the virus.

Two of the 12 South Africans who were working on board an American-owned cruise ship, the Princess Diamond, were diagnosed with the coronavirus in Japan. The cruise ship was in quarantine for two weeks in Japan.

The South African government has reassured citizens that infected South Africans will remain in Japan for treatment and will be allowed to travel back home only when they are no longer contagious.