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Egypt confirms coronavirus case, the first in Africa

The country’s ministry of health says the person affected is a “foreigner” who is hospitalized and isolated.

Egypt has confirmed its first case of a deadly coronavirus that emerged in central China late last year and has since spread to over two dozen countries around the world.

Ministry of Health spokesman Khaled Mugahed said in a statement on Friday that the person affected was a “foreigner” who showed no serious symptoms.

Officials were able to confirm the case through a government-implemented monitoring program for travelers arriving from countries where the virus has spread.

The ministry statement said the person was hospitalized and isolated. He did not specify the nationality of the person or his point of entry.

The development made Egypt the first country on the African continent to report a confirmed case, and the second in the Middle East region, after the United Arab Emirates diagnosed its first cases late last month.

“Serious threat”
Officially known as COVID-19, the virus was first discovered in Wuhan, the capital of central China’s Hubei province, in December last year.

So far it has killed nearly 1,400 people and infected nearly 65,000 worldwide.

There have been three deaths outside mainland China: one in Hong Kong, one in the Philippines and the most recent in Japan.

More than two dozen countries have confirmed cases and several nations have evacuated their citizens from Hubei.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the virus poses a “serious threat” to the world.

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