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Wuhan coronavirus cases in Togo, Bhutan, WHO not sure virus will disappear in summer

Christian Fernsby |
The Togolese government yesterday reported the country's first confirmed Wuhan coronavirus case, a 42 year old woman who returned to Togo after being in Benin, Germany, France, and Turkey on Feb. 22 to March 2.

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The patient arrived in Lome, the capital, on March 2, the government said in a statement. It did not specify her nationality.

The patient is currently in isolation at an infectious disease treatment center, and there are no major concerns regarding her health, the statement added.

The woman was in Benin, Germany, France, and Turkey from Feb. 22 to March 2, when she returned to Togo via Benin through the land border of Sanvi Condji, the statement said.

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe chaired a meeting on Friday to discuss measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Bhutan said yesterday it had banned the entry of tourists for two weeks after it confirmed its first case of Wuhan coronavirus, in a tourist who arrived from neighboring India.

Bhutan, which is heavily reliant on high end tourism for foreign exchange, said a 79 year old American who entered by air from India on March 2 had tested positive for Wuhan coronavirus.

"The government will impose two weeks restriction on all incoming tourists with immediate effect," the health ministry said in a statement.

"This is to enable rigorous monitoring, source assessment of infection and mitigate the situation."

There is no evidence right now suggesting Wuhan coronavirus will disappear in summer, Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, told a daily briefing in Geneva yesterday.

"We do not know yet what the activity or behavior of the virus will be in different climatic conditions," Ryan said. "We have to assume the virus will continue to have the capacity to spread."

The senior expert urged countries to fight the new virus decisively at current stage, and called on countries and societies to avoid "blame culture" and to do all the things needed to save lives.

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