Three countries, namely Algeria, Nigeria and Senegal, in the WHO African Region have reported confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The events are highlighted below:  

Algeria | 8 cases, 0 deaths
On 25 February 2020, the Algerian Ministry of Health reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19 following a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2 released by the National Reference Laboratory for Influenza and Respiratory Viruses of the Institut Pasteur of Algeria. The case-patient is a 61-year-old Italian male with pre-existing comorbidity who travelled from Milan, Italy and arrived in Algiers, Algeria on 17 February 2020. On 18 February 2020, the case-patient arrived in the city of Hassi Messaoud, 800 km south-east of the capital Algiers. He developed a flu-like illness on 22 February 2020 and was managed in an isolation facility until 28 February 2020 when he was transferred back to his home country, Italy, for further clinical care. A total of 34 contacts have been identified and are under follow-up.

On 1 March 2020, the Algerian Ministry of Health reported two additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, with no link to the case described above. The case-patients are two females, a 53-year-old woman and her 24-year-old daughter, who are reported as healthy carriers who tested positive on the evening of 1 March 2020 following laboratory analyses conducted at the National Reference Laboratory for Influenza and Respiratory Viruses of the Institut Pasteur of Algeria. They were reportedly exposed to two people, an 83-year-old man and his daughter, both of French nationality, who visited Algeria from 14 to 21 February 2020 and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 after their return to France on 21 February 2020. On 3 March 2020, three more case-patients linked to same cluster tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.  

Nigeria | 1 case, 0 deaths
On 28 February 2020, the Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria notified WHO of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Lagos, Nigeria. The case-patient is a 44-year-old male engineer of Italian nationality who travelled from Bergamos, Milan, Italy to Lagos, Nigeria on 24 February 2020, for a short-term mission at a factory in Ewekoro, Ogun State. Upon arrival to Lagos, he was transported by the company’s vehicle to a hotel where he stayed one night before travelling on the next day to the factory’s site in Ewekoro, Ogun State. On 25 February 2020, he reportedly developed a headache during the evening hours. He presented to the company’s clinic on 27 February 2020, with symptoms of fever and headache which had not resolved since onset on the evening of 25 February in spite of self-medication. Due to suspicion of COVID-19, he was referred to an infectious diseases hospital in Lagos where a sample was collected and sent to the laboratory for testing. The test result released by the Virology Laboratory at Lagos University Teaching Hospital on 27 February 2020 was positive for SARS-COV-2 infection. The case-patient is undergoing clinical management at a hospital in Lagos, Nigeria where his condition is reported as stable.  

Senegal | 2 case, 0 deaths
On 2 March 2020, the Ministry of Health and Social Action of Senegal notified WHO of a confirmed case of COVID-19. The case-patient is a French citizen who has been living in Senegal with his family for over two years. He travelled to Nimes, France between 13 and 25 February 2020, where he stayed in a ski resort in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. He returned to Senegal on 26 February 2020. The case-patient fell ill on 27 February 2020 and presented to a private health facility with symptoms of fever at 39 °C, sore throat and headache, where specimens were collected. The test result released by Institut Pasteur in Dakar on 2 March 2020 was positive for SARS-CoV-2. The patient is currently stable and under quarantine at a local hospital.

In a separate event, the Senegalese Ministry of Health reported a second confirmed case of COVID-19 on 3 March 2020. The case-patient is an 80-year-old French national residence of Sarcelles, Paris, France who arrived in Senegal on 29 February 2020. On 2 March 2020, he sought consultation at a hospital in Dakar where he was treated and transferred to the infectious diseases department of another Hospital. He is reported as clinically stable.

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