Most would agree that it is almost certain the #CoronaVirus is already in Africa, as the ability is just not there to detect it, but now Algeria and Nigeria have officially confirmed cases of infection. There are 199 South African citizens, mostly students, in Wuhan City and 132 of them have asked to be repatriated back to SA. As they’ve been living under lockdown conditions since the outbreak of the coronavirus a few weeks back, Ramaphosa can rest easy that it is a fairly safe endeavor for his troubled reputation. Dr. Anban Pillay – Director General at the Department of Health stated 3 weeks ago that if anyone was infected they would not be repatriated.
Only two days after Algeria had reported its first confirmed case of the new coronavirus, an Italian man who arrived in Algeria on February. 17 and had been put into isolation, Dr Osagie Ehanire from The Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria confirmed the coronavirus (Covid-19) case in Lagos State Nigeria via his Twitter. The case which was confirmed on 27/02/2020 is the first official case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January this year. According to the NCDC, the patient is clinically stable and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital Yaba. The patient is also an Italian national returned to Nigeria where he works and has been placed in isolation.
There are also reports of a man who returned from Beijing after Chinese New Year, and a women who was shopping in China while there on business – they were on the same flight and are quarantined at a Lagos private hospital.
In the last two days the virus has suddenly spread in various countries with new clusters in South Korea, Italy, Singapore and Japan. It has killed over 2,850 people, mainly in China according to official figures, although many experts suggest it is far more. There are 83,357 infections worldwide, once again officially, but it is almost certainly twice that, depending on the level and threshold of testing.
The 199 South African citizens in Wuhan City have been living under the state imposed lockdown conditions since the outbreak of the virus, and have been waiting weeks for news about repatriation, yet it is still not clear when it will actually be effected. They received an official letter this week informing them that it will happen, but no details of when or how. According to one student there, the Chinese government still have to make arrangements and back in South Africa they are still searching for suitable accommodation, where they will be quarantined for a further 21 days as a precaution. So SA are certainly not in a rush as they will remain in quarantine, be it in China or SA, we just hope that in the process of the transfer, contamination does not occur…