Algeria’s Health Ministry on Tuesday confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the North African country.
An Italian man who arrived in the country on 17 February has tested positive for the virus.
The country’s health minister confirmed the patient has been placed in quarantine and is receiving treatment.
Algeria becomes the second African country with a confirmed case of coronavirus after Egypt.
The Ministry of Health has assured that it has “strengthened the prevention system around the confirmed case, and the surveillance and monitoring system at all points of entry” in Algeria.
WHO Regional Director for Africa has warned that: “the window of opportunity the continent has had to prepare for the coronavirus is closing. All countries must ramp up their preparedness activities.”
Algeria, along with Egypt, have been identified as top priority’s and among the highest risk countries for the virus due to the high volume of travel between the country and China.
The epidemic has already been reported in about 30 countries outside China, where it has killed more than 40 people with 2,500 reported cases.