This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML
How we can fight the coronavirus
03:10 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

A 26-year-old man who authorities say fled a Zimbabwe hospital before he could be tested for coronavirus turned himself in for the test Tuesday, Zimbabwe’s information ministry said.

The patient has now tested negative for the virus and has been discharged from the clinic, the ministry added.

Zimbabwe has no confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Health authorities say the man absconded from the Wilkins Infectious Disease Hospital on Monday after he was admitted at the clinic on March 8. He had symptoms including fever, sneezing, and a cough, according to the health ministry.

Although the symptoms did not meet the WHO case-definition for coronavirus such as acute respiratory illness, health officials say they wanted to test him as a precaution but he left the hospital on Monday before the test could be carried out, the health ministry said.

The health ministry had reported the matter to the police and also sent officials to the man’s home.

Meanwhile, African countries are preparing against the pandemic and have put in place initiatives to protect their citizens. In Rwanda’s capital Kigali, passengers must wash their hands with soap from mobile faucets installed at bus stops before they get on board.

A video of residents washing their hands with these facilities in Kigali was shared by local newspaper New Times on Tuesday.

New cases

So far, eleven African countries including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Senegal, Tunisia, Togo, Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria and Morocco have reported more than 100 coronavirus cases, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

Burkina Faso recorded two cases on Tuesday, WHO said.

The patients are a couple, one of whom recently returned from France, where health authorities are racing to control the spread of the new virus. The pair are under quarantine in the country.

The West African nation is the sixth in sub-Saharan Africa to report positive cases of the virus.

Congo registered its first case on Wednesday bringing the total number of cases on the continent to more than 105, the WHO tweeted.