Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga and a handful of his delegates were placed into a 14-day isolation period as a precautionary measure immediately following their return from China, according to Mongolia state media. Mongolia is bordered by China where coronavirus originated towards the end of last year and has killed nearly 3,000 people. President Battulga was in China for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak, where he met Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to discuss joint efforts to curb the spread of the deadly disease.
Coronavirus has also spread to sub-Saharan Africa for the first time, with the first case being an Italian citizen who worked in Nigeria and had returned from Italy to Lagos on February 25.
It is only the third case on the African continent – Egypt announced its first case on February 14, while Algeria declared it had a case on Tuesday.
That saw World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti warn the “window of opportunity the continent has had to prepare for coronavirus disease is closing.”
Her warning was followed by one from WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday, who said the epidemic was at a “decisive point globally” and that it could “get out of control” if countries don’t act quickly enough to get it under control.
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8.15am update: More than 4,400 coronavirus cases recorded outside China
The deadly virus has now reached more than 50 countries and territories outside mainland China, with over 4,400 confirmed cases and 70 deaths.
South Korea now has the biggest outbreak outside China, with 2,022 cases.
Globally, there have been more than 83,000 cases as coronavirus panic spreads quickly throughout the world.
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