Africa

Egypt’s health ministry announces first confirmed coronavirus case

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Egypt's health ministry on Friday announced the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Africa.

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The sufferer was not Egyptian, the ministry said in a statement, without specifying the nationality.

"The ministry has taken preventative measures and is monitoring the patient… who is stable," said health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed.

Egyptian authorities had notified the World Health Organization and the patient had been placed in quarantined isolation in hospital.

The death toll from the epidemic virus has neared 1,400 cases, almost exclusively in China where it was first identified.

Deep trade links with China and often overstretched healthcare systems have raised concerns about the capacity of African countries to respond to an outbreak.

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