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Coronavirus: Mauritius, Tunisia take measures to reduce exposure to virus from Italy

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The coronavirus was confirmed in the Chinese city of Wuhan on January 7, 2020. Cases have since been confirmed in several other Asian countries, Europe and the United States.

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has since declared it a public health emergency of international dimensions. WHO chief Tedros Ghebereyesus said whiles China had a robust health system to detect and control, his outfit remained concerned about the virus entering country’s with weak systems.

Almost all African governments have publicly put in place strict screening at points of entry especially airports. Ivory Coast, Kenya, Ethiopia and Botswana have recorded suspected cases. All except Botswana have reported that the tests were negative. African airlines have cancelled scheduled flights to China except for Ethiopian Airlines.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that range from the common cold to MERS coronavirus, which is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and SARS, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus.

In this article, we will share the latest developments as authorities implement measures to contain the spread of the virus, especially on the African continent.

  • Uganda, Kenya defend stance on evacuations
  • Kenya to send upkeep to students in Wuhan
  • Zimbabwean woman tests negative
  • Rwanda’s health minister fired
  • Chinese national quarantined in Kenya
  • West African countries collaborate
  • Egypt records Africa’s first case
  • Uganda to send financial assistance to stranded students
  • Chinese doctor in Liberia offers help
  • South African company to export face masks to China
  • Africa’s response capacity boosted by WHO
  • Ethiopian defends stance on flying to China
  • Africa ADC asks countries to allow citizens return home
  • Ethiopia to quarantine all Wuhan entrants
  • Ghana records negative outcome for two suspected cases
  • Kenya to repatriate its students from Chinese city of Wuhan
  • Chinese embassy in Kenya issues orders
  • Africa’s first infection happens in China
  • African trio record cases, Air Tanzania ditches China route
  • Kenyan records new case, Nigeria ‘battle ready’
  • African airlines suspend flights to China
  • Ethiopia suspected cases test negative
  • Ethiopian Airlines denies reports of suspending flights
  • Ivory Coast’s suspected case tests negative
  • Mozambique suspends visa-on-arrival for travelers from China
  • Ethiopia isolates four suspected cases
  • Kenya rushes suspected case to hospital
  • Ivory Coast conducts first tests on African continent

February 24, 2020: Mauritius blocks Italian passengers

Authorities in Mauritius are not taking chances, telling passengers from Northern Italian regions affected by the coronavirus that they would have to go into quarantine.

The Alitalia plane landed in Mauritius on Monday with 224 passengers but up to 40 passengers from from the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto returned home rather than go into quarantine, Alitalia said.

The airline said they had not been notified by the Mauritian authorities before landing, adding that ‘nobody declared symptoms of illness.’

Italy is struggling to contain the coronavirus outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of 6 people out of more than 200 cases recorded. 11 towns in the northern part of the country are under lockdown.

Churches, schools, fashion events and football matches have been affected by the changes.

Tunisia’s Transport Minister Rene Trabelsi said on Monday the country may suspend some flights to Italy to reduce its exposure to the coronavirus.

No evacuation; Kenya, Uganda insist

Authorities in Uganda and Kenya have reiterated their call to citizens in China to stay put, insisting that the Chinese are better placed to handle the new coronavirus.

‘‘In efforts to minimise transmission of the virus, the safest place for the students to be is Wuhan which is in lock down,’‘ said Cyrus Oguna, Kenya government’s spokesperson.

Oguna says the government will ‘objectively’ the question of whether to eventually evacuate the 100 Kenyans in China.

“We’re a responsible government that looks at things from a rational perspective and not emotive. Let’s address issues from an objective perspective,” Oguna is quoted as saying by the Daily Nation.

Meanwhile, Uganda’s health minister Robinah Nabbanja issued a travel advisory asking Ugandans to resist the urge to travel ‘to and from’ Kenya.

‘‘We are asking those people who are still in China to stay there until the situation improves. We are also asking Ugandans and Chinese here in the country to stay here,’‘ Nabbanja said.

Both countries have resorted to send financial upkeep to their citizens stranded in Wuhan.

Kenya to send money to students in Wuhan

Kenya’s government on Thursday said it would send Ksh1.3 million ($13,000) to students stranded in the Chinese city of Wuhan, that is the epicentre of the Covid-19 virus epidemic.

The government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna said there are 100 Kenyans currently living in the Chinese city, with 91 of these being students while nine are artists.

“We are aware there are two expectant Kenyans…they’ve been receiving medical services. They have necessary support and are in good health,” Oguna said in a briefing on Thursday.

Ksh500,000 ($5,000) worth of provisions from the Chinese government is also being processed.

Kenyans in China have been appealing for help, asking the government to evacuate them as they are ‘locked down’ and ‘unable to procure groceries’.

Meanwhile, a Chinese student who had been isolated in Kitui County, as a suspected case of the Coronavirus has tested negative.

The man who works as an accountant with the China state-owned Sino Hydro Construction Company will remain isolated for two weeks.

“The Chinese man has been examined by our medical staff and he tested negative to the basic symptoms of coronavirus,” Kitui County Chief Officer for Health Dr Richard Muthoka told journalists adding that the man will also be wearing a face mask at all times.

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