Africa: Ethiopia quarantines four persons over coronavirus

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Ethiopia has isolated four people suspected of having coronavirus, local media reported on Tuesday.

Health officials say the coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection and symptoms seem to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough. After a week, some people can experience shortness of breath and need hospital treatment.

The virus is said to be a new coronavirus – a family that normally affects animals. It is believed that it was transmitted from animals to humans in the Chinese city of Wuhan before it began spreading.

At least 107 people have died while over 4500 people have been infected, most of them in China.

In Ethiopia, the four persons have been quarantined in the capital, Addis Ababa. There is also an unconfirmed case in Ivory Coast.

Africa Center for Disease Control said at a news conference in Ethiopia on Tuesday morning that there was no confirmed case of coronavirus in Africa, but warned the virus was spreading fast and things could change.

Ethiopia began screening all passengers arriving from China last Wednesday at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport to check for infections.

Speaking to journalists at a press conference in Addis Ababa, Dr Lia Tadesse, a junior health minister, and other officials said all four of the suspected cases were Ethiopian nationals.

Three of them were students who had traveled back from various universities near Wuhan city, the epicentre of the outbreak.

Their blood samples would be sent to South Africa for thorough testing, health officials said.

The BBC reported that to date Ethiopian Airlines has screened more than 22,000 passengers for symptoms of the deadly virus, adding that more than 100 people have now died in China, with confirmed infections surging to more than 4,500.


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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: [email protected]


  1. I think, this virus is a pandemic virus. because it affects many of the people in the world. as a result this diseases affect the economic back ground of the countries next to death of the persons. For me this diseases is come from birds. actually, corona virus is called in birds infectious bronchitis, it can transmit through air. the clinical sign of this diseases is in birds, difficult in breathing, opening of the beaks, excessive foamation through the respiratory tracts…..

  2. China dint brought anything but misery, instead of hiring perfectly capable Ethiopian builders the Chinese companies are bringing their chinese ones Ethiopia doesnt need this! And the infrastructure is soo bad that it collapses in months

  3. That is incredibly racist Genet. China has brought a lot of prosperity to Ethiopia, all of which has aided the country greatly. Your blatant disregard of an entire nation is a clear indicator to why so many other nations are reluctant to invest….

  4. Sad to hear that these virus is spreading in Ethiopia! I warned all along time ago that there is no single benefit to have connection with China and Chinese! The so called 2nd world economy is nowhere to lead the country except spreading their virus and robbing and taking jobs that Ethiopians should do! #CHINAOUTOFAFRICA is the only way out of this mess!


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