Egypt’s Health Ministry on Friday confirmed the first case of the deadly Coronavirus in the country, making it the first in Africa, reported News 24.
In a statement, the Health Ministry said the sufferer was a foreigner and not a resident of Egypt. However, it did not reveal the nationality of the affected person or any other details. The statement added that all the people who were in contact with the patient will be isolated for two weeks at their residences as a precautionary measure.
Khaled Megahed, the Health Ministry Spokesperson, said that the laboratory tests which were conducted for the suspected case at Cairo International Airport resulted in a positive virus.
“The ministry has taken preventative measures and is monitoring the patient… who is stable,” said Megahed.
The Egyptian authorities had immediately notified the World Health Organization and preventive measures have been taken in cooperation with the UN agency. The patient had been placed in quarantined isolation in the hospital.
John Gabor, the representative of the World Health Organization in Egypt, praised Egypt’s transparency in dealing with the situation. He stressed that Egypt was one of the first countries to develop a good preventive plan against Coronavirus, as it was provided with accurate detectors to discover any case infected with the newly emerging virus.
According to China’s National Health Commission, the death toll from the epidemic virus has neared 1,400 cases, almost exclusively in China where it was first identified, with nearly 64,000 more confirmed cases.
The virus has spread to over 20 countries but only three deaths have been reported outside China, one each in Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. The WHO has already declared the Coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency.
As a precautionary measure, Egypt suspended all flights on its national carrier to China earlier this month. Notably, around three hundred and one Egyptians were evacuated from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus in China, and have remained in quarantine for 14 days.