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Coronavirus alert: Nigeria confirms 2 known cases

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President-Buhari-of-Nigeria-contemplative-pix

Nigeria has a second confirmed coronavirus case, the country’s health minister said on Twitter on Monday.

The first case was an Italian man who flew in to southwestern commercial capital Lagos on Feb. 24 from Milan on a Turkish Airlines flight that had a connection in Istanbul. The following day he travelled to neighbouring Ogun state and was in the country for nearly two full days before being isolated.

The case, the first in sub-Saharan Africa, prompted fears of an outbreak in Lagos, a city of 20 million people in a country of some 200 million inhabitants. But until Monday it was the only confirmed case in a country that won plaudits for preventing a major outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in 2014.

Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said the second case had been in contact with the Italian man, who is a vendor working for cement company Lafarge Africa PLC and is being treated at a hospital in the Yaba dristict of Lagos.

The Lagos state health commissioner, Akin Abayomi, said on Saturday Nigerian officials were experiencing “some challenges” in tracking down people who were on the flight with the Italian.

(Ref: Reuters; by Alexis Akwagyiram; additional reporting by Libby George; editing by Alison Williams)

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