Gambia records first COVID-19 death

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The West African nation of Gambia on Monday recorded its first Covid-19 death, while the number of all coronavirus cases surpassed 1,000 on the African continent.

The victim is a 70-year-old Bangladeshi man who travelled to Gambia from Senegal on March 13, Gambia Health Minister Amadou Samateh said on national television.

Samateh also reported an additional case of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to two.

Many African nations ramped up preventive measures over the weekend, banning or restricting travel and public gatherings as well as closing borders, schools and houses of worship.

Africa had been largely spared from the pandemic for weeks, but has now recorded more than 1,000 cases and at least 19 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation and individual country reports.

There are concerns that weak national health systems in Africa will be quickly overwhelmed by the pandemic, which has so far killed over 13,000 people globally.

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