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First suspected coronavirus case in Southern Africa

The Health Ministry in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) says it is ‘monitoring its first suspected case of novel coronavirus’, according to reports.

The case, reportedly identified on Friday, is a woman who entered eSwatini on 6 February after travelling from China to South Africa, according to eSwatini’s director of Health Services Dr Vusi Magagula.

The woman is apparently under quarantine in a hospital in Mbabane and blood samples have been taken for further analysis.

Dr Magagula told journalists: ‘She presented with a fever and was at the hospital, then the rapid response team took over and took up the case.

She came through the Ngwenya Port of Entry on 6 February, having arrived from the Republic of South Africa.

‘I don’t think she was presenting with any symptoms, we only picked her up on the 14th because she was already now in hospital, ill, and had to be admitted to the isolation ward.

So I guess when she passed through OR [Tambo airport] or even through Ngwenya border post she didn’t have the symptoms,” the SABC reported Dr Magagula as saying.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported yesterday that China reported fewer new coronavirus cases on Sunday than the previous day, which it said was evidence that its efforts to slow the spread of the disease appeared to be having some effect.

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‘Beijing’s latest figures showed 68 500 total cases, including 2 009 new cases on Sunday, fewer than the 2 641 new cases reported on Saturday.

One hundred forty-two people were reported on Sunday to have died, just one fewer than the previous day, bringing the number of deaths in China to 1 665, mostly in central Hubei province.’

Taiwan reported its first death from the coronavirus, and an elderly Chinese tourist hospitalized in France became the first coronavirus fatality in Europe.

Reuters reported that, outside mainland China, there had been about 500 cases in some two dozen countries and territories, with five deaths in Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, France and Taiwan.

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First suspected coronavirus case in southern Africa

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