KAMPALA — Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has on Tuesday March 10, confirmed its first case of coronavirus, bringing the number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa hit by the epidemic to seven.
The patient, according to Health Minister Eteni Longondo, is a Congolese citizen who lives in France and returned to Congo on March 8 with no symptoms of the virus,
The patient and others with him have been placed in quarantine, Mr. Longondo said.
“What I’d like to tell people is not to panic,” he said, recommending people wash their hands regularly and stay at least one meter apart from people who have a cough.
The outbreak has largely spared sub-Saharan Africa so far, but since February a few cases have been registered in Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Cameroon, Togo and Burkina Faso.
North African countries Egypt and Algeria have registered dozens of cases.
Congo’s first coronavirus case comes as its long-running Ebola epidemic appears to be on the wane.
The last patient being treated for Ebola was discharged on March 3 – the first time there have been no active cases since the outbreak was declared in August 2018.
The news Coronavirus in the neighbouring DR Congo put Uganda on red alert.
Uganda health Ministry has set up inspection teams all border points and the airport to ensure all people are subjected to screening.