The central African state of Gabon on Friday announced its first death from coronavirus — a 50-year-old man, who was also the second fatality in sub-Saharan Africa.
The patient had recently been in France and died “from complications arising from diabetes and acute respiratory distress syndrome”, said Guy Patrick Obiang Ndong of Gabon’s coronavirus team.
Gabon, which has three other confirmed infections, has already implemented measures to restrict international flights, close schools and ban gatherings of more than 30 people.
The total of known coronavirus cases across Africa stands at 881 and is rising fast after lagging other continents, according to the latest AFP tally.
The first known death south of the Sahara was announced by Burkina Faso on Wednesday.
It was of a 62-year-old legislator who also had diabetes.
In another news, the Osun State Government on Friday banned public gatherings that would bring together 50 or more persons in the same place, including churches, mosques and schools.
This measure takes immediate effect and will be in place until further notice. The ban will affect all Night Clubs and Sports arenas among others.
The government said it reached the decision after wide consultations with health professionals and stakeholders in the health sector over COVID-19 and urged the populace not to panic because no case has been recorded in the state so far.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan, the government noted that the ban became necessary following Federal Government’s directive to ensure precautionary measures are taken to prevent the spread of the disease.