Accra, Feb. 28, GNA – Nigeria has confirmed its first case of the flu-like coronavirus (COVID-19) as the virus which originated in Wuhan, China, continues to spread to more countries.
An Italian man, who arrived in the populous West African country, this week, tested positive to the infection at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
The patient, is reported by the Federal Health Authorities to be clinically stable, with no serious symptoms.
He is being managed at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba, Lagos.
Mainland China, the epicentre of the virus, reported 327 new cases, the lowest since January 23, taking its tally to more than 78,800 cases with almost 2,800 deaths.
The number of countries outside China with infections, now stands at 55, where about 3,700 cases have killed about 70 people.
Countries other than China are accounting for about three-quarters of new infections.
Director General of World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called for all nations to prepare – up their emergency response.
“This virus has pandemic potential,” he said in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday.
“This is not a time for fear. This is a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives now.”
In addition to stockpiling medical supplies, governments have ordered schools shut and canceled big gatherings to try to halt the spread of the virus.
Reuters reports that President Donald Trump’s administration is considering invoking special powers through a law called the Defense Production Act to rapidly expand domestic manufacturing of protective masks and clothing to combat the coronavirus in the United States.