The first case of coronavirus has been recorded in Africa, with a female student in Cote d’ Ivoire suspected to have arrived with the disease from China.
The student, whom health officials have not named, is the first person to be tested for the virus on the continent, CNN reports.
According to a statement issued by Cote d’ Ivoire’s Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene on Monday, the 34-year-old student travelled from Beijing, the Chinese capital, to the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport in Abidjan, the country’s economic capital, on Saturday and was coughing, sneezing and experienced difficulty breathing.
The student was moved to a safe location upon arrival at the airport and is currently under medical observation, the ministry said.
Authorities believe it is highly likely a case of pneumonia and not coronavirus, but the final diagnosis will be made after the analysis of the results of the test, the ministry said.
The death toll from the deadly coronavirus has risen to 81, the Chinese Health Ministry said on Monday.
The virus originated from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province.
The virus is thought to have originated in animals, but no cause has been officially identified. Officials announced a sale of all wildlife in China.
The coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection and there is no specific cure or vaccine.
As much as 15 Chinese cities have imposed significant travel restrictions are either on full or partial lockdown as the disease has spread to neighbouring cities and provinces.
It has spread outside China, with over 50 cases reported in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Australia, the United States and France.
There have been no reported deaths outside China.