Angola, Eritrea and Uganda confirmed the first cases of coronavirus with Mauritius recording its first death as the virus spreads across Africa despite government measures to hold it back.
Two male residents who flew back from Portugal on March 17-18 have tested positive, Angolan Health Minister Silvia Lutucuta said, while Eritrea’s first case was a 39-year-old national who arrived from Norway.
Uganda’s first case was announced on Sunday by Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng. She said the man flew in from Dubai on Saturday and was in stable condition.
More than 1 000 cases have now been reported across Africa, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
There are concerns the continent will not be able to handle a surge in cases without the depth of medical facilities in developed economies.
Zimbabwe reported its first case on Friday and a second on Saturday, while Mauritius, with 14 cases, reported its first death, a person who travelled from Belgium via Dubai.
Many African countries shut borders, closed schools and universities and barred large public gatherings.
In South Africa, with the most cases in sub-Saharan Africa, more citizens are wearing masks and gloves in public as confirmed cases rose to 240 on Saturday.
Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, plans to close its two main international airports in Lagos and Abuja from Monday night. The number of reported cases rose to 22 on Saturday.
Rwanda, with 17 confirmed cases stepped up preventive measures, banning travel between towns for two weeks, closing bars and requiring all government and private employees to work from home.
Rwanda and Uganda said they would close borders.