A man who arrived in Algeria from Italy on February 17 has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, making Algeria the second African country with a confirmed case of the virus after Egypt. Through the state-owned Algérie 2 television station, the country’s minister of health, Abderrahmane Benbouzid, announced that the man had been placed in quarantine and was receiving medical care.
Why It Matters
As the coronavirus continues to spread globally, there is growing fear that certain regions of the world are less equipped to deal with a potential outbreak than the developed world, among them West Africa and the Horn of Africa. Direct airline flights between Africa and China have jumped more than 600% in the past decade, which raises the chance of the virus spreading throughout the continent. It’s believed the virus can take up to two weeks before manifesting, so should a carrier of the virus arrive in Africa and get through screening, there is a grave risk they could infect dozens of people before being directed to health officials for treatment and quarantine.