Nigeria’s health ministry has said it has confirmed a novel coronavirus case in Lagos state.
This is the third confirmed case in Africa, after Egypt and in Algeria, and first in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Lagos has a population of 20 million people and is Nigeria’s economic capital.
“The case which was confirmed on 27/02/2020 is the first case to be reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the outbreak in China in January 2020,” the health ministry said in a post on Twitter.
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) in a statement also said: “the patient is clinically stable and is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.”
Since its detection in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the novel coronavirus, also called COVID-19, has claimed more than 2,700 lives and has infected over 80,000 people across almost 50 countries.
Nigeria was among thirteen priority countries in Africa identified as being at high risk of getting the virus because of their established links or frequent travel to and from China.
The others are Ghana, Algeria, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Before the recent cases, African countries were found to be at moderate to high risk of importation of the virus and considered to have a relatively low capacity to manage the health emergency.
Currently, 40 countries in Africa are able to test for the virus.
In recent times, Italy has become Europe’s worst-hit country, with more than 600 cases of the novel coronavirus and 17 deaths.