A Nigerian has tested positive to Covid-19 (coronavirus) in Washington, US, the Mayor of Washington DC, Muriel Bowser, said on Saturday.
Today News Africa reported that Ms Bowser said the Nigerian man spent time in Washington DC and tested positive for Covid-19 at a hospital in neighbourhood Maryland.
She said the Nigerian does not live in DC, but travelled to the area from Nigeria where he had been staying with relatives before he fell ill. She, however. did not give further details.
Ms Bowser gave the information when updating the public on the first presumptive case in Washington.
She said there were two cases in Washington – the first one was a Nigerian who spent time in Washington DC and tested positive in Maryland, while the second case was that of a DC resident in his 50s who tested positive and has been hospitalized in the district.
The DC resident is the first to test positive for Covid-19 in Washington.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has also been recording increasing numbers of cases in the last weeks.
The U.S. recorded the first confirmed death from coronavirus on February 29.
The man in his 50s had underlying health conditions, and there was no evidence he had close contact with an infected person or a relevant travel history that would have exposed him to the virus.
Now the rapidly-spreading virus has killed 19 people in the U.S. and affected more than 30 states and the District of Columbia, turning into a health crisis.
Federal health officials announced the first case of coronavirus in the U.S. on January 20. The patient was in Washington state, and had just returned five days prior from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started.
The outbreak in the U.S. has been raising alarms among its citizens as many of them are not happy with the way the Trump administration was handling the outbreak.
However, the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said Friday that he was “confident” that the United States would handle the novel coronavirus “better than any nation in the world.”
Mr Pompeo expressed the optimism during an interview with CNBC, in response to a question about whether the U.S. response could as good as that of China without interfering with people’s civil liberties. China imposed severe restrictions on travel in an effort to contain the virus.
“I’m confident we can handle it here. I’m confident we’ll handle it better than any nation in the world,” Mr Pompeo said.
…cases surpass 100,000 worldwide
The global number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has surpassed 100,000, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported on Saturday.
Italy, on Sunday, announced an unprecedented quarantine on its northern region of Lombardy and other badly affected areas as the country struggles to contain the virus’s spread, with 1,247 new cases detected in the last 24 hours.
WHO chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said the increasing cases is a “sombre moment,” and reminds all countries that the spread of this virus can be significantly slowed or even reversed through the implementation of robust containment and control activities”.
The disease, first detected in Wuhan, China in December, has spread to all continents except Antarctica.
As at Saturday, cases reported rose to over 100,000 and the death toll has also steadily increased.
Mr Ghebreyesus urged countries to continue efforts that have been effective in limiting the number of cases and slowing the spread of the virus.
Actions include identifying people who are sick with the respiratory disease and bringing them to care, as well as following up on contacts, preparing health facilities to manage a surge in patients, and training health workers.
“Every effort to contain the virus and slow the spread saves lives”, the statement said.
Mr Ghebreyesus said all efforts are aimed at buying time for researchers working tirelessly on cure and vaccines to contain the disease.
“These efforts give health systems and all of society much needed time to prepare, and researchers more time to identify effective treatments and develop vaccines”
He said “we must stop, contain, control, delay and reduce the impact of this virus at every opportunity.”
Allowing uncontrolled spread should not be a choice of any government, as it will harm not only the citizens of that country but affect other countries as well.
“Everyone can contribute “whether in the home, the community, the health care system, the workplace or the transport system”.
As the outbreak continues to spread throughout the globe, Italy, on Sunday announced an unprecedented quarantine on its northern region of Lombardy and other badly affected areas.
The action will be affecting about 16 million people. Italy has become a hotspot for the ongoing Covid-19 as the disease has spread from the European country to other countries in Europe and Africa, including Nigeria.
The steps being taken by Italian authorities are towards tackling Europe’s largest outbreak of coronavirus.
Aljazeera reported that the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, early on Sunday issued a decree that severely restricts the movement of individuals in the northern region and surrounding areas.
The move comes as the country struggles to contain the virus’s spread, with 1,247 new cases detected in the last 24 hours.
Another 36 people also died as a result of the virus, taking the total to 233.
In another development, the Czech Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, urged Italy to ban its citizens from travelling to Europe or abroad to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“I think it’s important that Prime Minister (Giuseppe) Conte calls on all Italians not to leave Italy at all,” Mr Babis said in a televised address.
He said it’s clear that Italy unfortunately doesn’t have it under control. They (Italians) shouldn’t travel to Europe because most of the cases in Germany, France, Spain… have originated in Italy”.
Nigeria also recorded its only case of coronavirus in an Italian businessman who had flown into the country for business.
Mr Babiš also urged Czechs who are currently in Italy to return home.
Meanwhile, Moldova confirmed its first case in a 48-year-old woman who recently returned from a trip to Italy.
“The person was taken from the airport… with bilateral pneumonia, acute respiratory failure, fever, cough, general weakness,” a health ministry statement said late on Saturday.