The central African state of Gabon on Friday announced its first death from coronavirus – a 50-year-old man, who was also the second fatality in sub-Saharan Africa.

The patient had recently been in France and died “from complications arising from diabetes and acute respiratory distress syndrome”, said Guy Patrick Obiang Ndong of Gabon’s coronavirus team.

Gabon, which has three other confirmed infections, has already implemented measures to restrict international flights, close schools and ban gatherings of more than 30 people.

The total of known coronavirus cases across Africa stands at 881 and is rising fast after lagging other continents, according to the latest AFP tally.

The first known death south of the Sahara was announced by Burkina Faso on Wednesday.

It was of a 62-year-old legislator who also had diabetes.


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