Mauritius records its first death from coronavirus


PORT LOUIS – Mauritius recorded its first death from the coronavirus, while the number of confirmed cases has risen.

“Mauritius has registered its first death linked to Covid-19,” Kavish Pultoo, adviser on information matters at the Ministry of Health, said.

“Actually some 13 patients have been tested Covid-19 positive. Their state of health is stable and they are being treated in isolation.”

But as a press conference by the National Communication Committee said additional patients have tested positive, which makes it a total of 18 cases recorded.

The country had confirmed its first three cases on Thursday.

Two of the three cases involve cruise ship workers aged 21 and 25, while the third is a traveller from the UK aged 59.

“It concerns three Mauritian nationals who have travelled back to Mauritius recently aged 21, 25 and 59 years respectively. Two have worked on cruise ships and one is from the United Kingdom,” the statement said.

It added that the government was tracing all the people the British traveller had come into contact with.

Consequently, Mauritius closed all schools and borders points of the Indian Ocean island nation. It has also banned commercial flights and tourists for the next two weeks, beginning on Thursday, March 19.

Many African countries have already shut their borders, closed schools and universities and barred large public gatherings.

More than 1,000 cases have now been reported across Africa, according to the World Health Organisation.

In South Africa, which has the most cases in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of confirmed cases rose from Saturday to 240.

Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, plans to close its two main international airports in the cities of Lagos and Abuja from Monday night. The number of reported cases there rose to 22 on Saturday, Reuters reports.

Rwanda, which has 17 confirmed cases, stepped up preventive measures on Saturday, banning travel between towns and other parts of the country for two weeks, closing all bars, and requiring all government and private employees to work from home.

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