Gabon and Ghana confirmed their first coronavirus cases on Thursday, becoming the ninth and tenth countries in sub-Saharan Africa to register positive cases.
The region has so far been less hit by coronavirus than Europe or China. Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Togo, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Democratic Republic of Congo have registered cases.
In a statement, Gabon’s government said its case was a 27-year-old Gabonese man who returned from France on March 8.
Ghana’s health ministry said its two cases were people who returned recently from Norway and Turkey.
“These are imported cases of COVID-19. Both patients are currently in isolation and are stable,” the ministry said in a statement.
Sub-Saharan Africa did not confirm its first coronavirus infection until February 28 in Nigeria, but experts warn rising numbers of cases could test fragile health systems.