The East African country of Djibouti confirmed its first case of coronavirus on Wednesday.

The Health Ministry said the case was from a Spanish national, who was part of a 32-member Spanish special forces unit that arrived in the East African nation on March 14 and who tested positive on March 17.

The ministry said the special forces unit did not come into contact with Djiboutians and they would return to Spain.

Cameroon closes borders

Cameroon to close land, air and sea borders over coronavirus. Cameroon said it will close land, air and sea borders indefinitely from of Wednesday (March 18) to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, the government announced that it was suspending all international flights, with the exception of cargo planes. Schools and restaurants will shut, and gatherings of more than 50 people are banned.

Passengers on an Air France flight from Paris to Douala, Cameroon’s commercial capital, were informed on arrival at the airport that they would be taken to hotels to be quarantined for at least 14 days.

Cameroon has just 10 confirmed cases of coronavirus, but an already overstretched health care system would be under severe strain if the country had to treat the number of cases recorded in some European countries.

Ivory Coast also quarantined passengers from an Air France flight on Tuesday.

Mali’s government said on Tuesday that it had decided to suspend commercial flights from countries with the virus, while Niger is halting international flights and closing land borders for two weeks from Thursday.

The virus, now ravaging Europe, has appeared in at least 27 out of 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

More coronavirus cases in Africa

Tanzania, Liberia, Benin and Somalia confirmed their first coronavirus cases on Monday, as more African nations shut their borders amid fears the disease could cause their fragile health systems to collapse.

The new cases mean 30 African nations – more than half the continent – are now treating nearly 400 patients with coronavirus.

Somalia, which has been at civil war since 1991, is completely reliant on donors to support its meagre public hospitals. Fighting between Islamist insurgents and the internationally-backed government has forced more than 2.6 million Somalis to flee their homes.

International flights to Somalia were suspended for two weeks, the aviation minister told Somali national television.

In West Africa, Liberia announced its first case. Liberia was devastated by a 2014 Ebola epidemic that killed 4 000 people and many health professionals. The healthcare system has remained underfunded despite promises of investment.

Benin, considered a relatively stable democracy in the turbulent West African region, also announced its first case. The health ministry said the Beninois national was being held in an isolation ward in the capital after returning from Belgium and Burkina Faso on March 11.

The health ministry in the East African nation of Tanzania also confirmed its first case, a Tanzanian woman who had travelled to Denmark, Sweden and Belgium. She had her temperature taken at the airport, but had no fever and was allowed to pass, but later felt unwell at her hotel, the ministry said.

Also on Monday, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Cameroon all reported more cases.