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06 Mar 2020 | 06:59 PM UTC

Togo: First coronavirus case confirmed March 6

Togo confirms first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 6; increased screening measures implemented at ports of entry



The first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Togo was confirmed by the government on Friday, March 6. According to a statement released on Friday, the patient had visited Benin, Germany, France, and Turkey in late February before returning to the country on March 2. Prime Minister Komi Klassou asked anyone who has come into contact with the individual to be identified and quarantined according to international health regulations. The patient is currently being treated in isolation and is in stable condition.

In response to the first confirmed case, President Faure Gnassingbé held an emergency cabinet meeting to determine how to prevent further spread of the virus. According to a statement released by the government, additional screening measures will be implemented at all ports of entry. Passengers will also be required to fill out health forms and may be monitored for up to 14 days as a precaution. Additional health measures may be implemented over the near term.

Further international spread of COVID-19 is expected over the coming days and weeks.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.