The insidious pathogen Sars-CoV-2 has arrived on the African continent: Egypt reported the first infection with the novel coronavirus. The Chinese government has since stressed that it has an epidemic under control.

A person from abroad was infected with the novel coronavirus, said the Egyptian Ministry of Health. It shows no symptoms of respiratory disease, but was isolated in a hospital, it said from Cairo. Tests were negative for their contact persons. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), no infection with the pathogen Sars-CoV-2 has yet been reported in Africa.

Experts in concern

Many experts point out that the virus would be difficult to control in countries with poor health systems, such as Africa. The experts fear that the disease COVID-19 will then permanently nestle in the world.

In China, the number of infections – favored by a new counting method – had recently risen sharply. Nationwide, around 66,500 infections (as of February 15) are recorded in the official statistics, 1523 people died accordingly. However, the number of unreported cases is likely to be significantly higher. Doctors and nurses fighting the virus are also increasingly affected. The state health commission reported that more than 1,700 members of the medical staff were ill.

China Shanghai |  Coronavirus |  Production of protective masks (picture-alliance / dpa / Maxppp / Kyodo)Production of respiratory masks in China: Shortages also put doctors at risk

Outside mainland China, around 580 coronavirus cases were confirmed in more than two dozen countries on Friday. So far, 16 infections have been identified in Germany, most of them in Bavaria.

“Under control”

China itself claims that the epidemic is now “largely under control”. Foreign minister Wang Yi said during a visit to Germany that the government in Beijing had taken vigorous and decisive measures. Many even went beyond the WHO recommendations.

Germany Berlin |  Wang Yi, Foreign Minister China & Angela Merkel, Chancellor (picture-alliance / Xinhua News Agency / W. Qing)In Berlin met Chancellor Angela Merkel: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi

However, a potential problem is that the U.S. government has banned travel between the United States and China, Wang said. As a result, the trade dispute settlement arrangements were at risk. The Chinese government has committed to sourcing an additional $ 200 billion in goods and services from the United States over the next two years. “I hope the US will take this problem into account,” said Wang. The aim is to prevent the spread of the disease, but not with unnecessary restrictions on trade and travel.


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