Lesotho’s Ministry of Health confirmed the Southern African country’s first case of COVID-19, making it the last country in Africa to report a positive case. The number of confirmed cases across the continent had surpassed 69,500.
This means that no nation on the continent is now exempted from the infection.
The health ministry of Lesotho said the first case was detected after tests were carried out on 81 travellers from South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
Lesotho is unable to test for coronavirus so all samples taken are sent to South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).
There are concerns this might have delayed the confirmation of the country’s first case.
“To date we have sent 597 specimens for testing at NICD, 295 are negative and 301 are still pending,” Lesotho’s health ministry said.
While Lesotho remained free from the virus, all of its neighbours in Southern Africa have confirmed cases.
Hundreds of thousands of Lesotho nationals work in South Africa which is a leading country with infections in Africa.
The outbreak led to the closure of the border between the two countries since March with only essential workers allowed to move back and forth.
The country’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is however due to step down on May 22 after his coalition in parliament collapsed.
He has been under scrutiny for months after he was charged for allegedly playing a role in the death of his former wife.
So far all 54 African countries have confirmed over 69,578 cases, with 2,403 deaths, and 23,978 recoveries.