An aid worker employed by humanitarian agency Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) died in the northeast Nigerian state of Borno after contracting the new coronavirus, a spokesman for the organisation said on Sunday.
Borno is at the epicentre of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, spawned by a decade-long Islamist militant insurgency that has left 7 million people in need of aid.
The death of an aid worker in a part of Africa’s most populous country where camps house many of the roughly two million people displaced by the insurgency will prompt fears of the highly infectious lung disease spreading quickly among malnourished people, many of whom suffer from other diseases.
An MSF spokesman confirmed the death of one of the aid agency’s workers but did not provide further details. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) late on Sunday said it had recorded a cumulative total of 627 confirmed cases and 21 deaths – including one in Borno. No further details were given.
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, in a statement earlier on Sunday said camps for displaced people needed to be decongested due to the pandemic and a number of fires in the last few days.