Ivory Coast confirms first case of coronavirus: health ministry

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, a 45-year-old Ivorian man who had recently traveled to Italy, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Ivory Coast, Francophone West Africa's largest economy, is the eighth country in sub-Saharan Africa to report a confirmed case after Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Togo, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Democratic Republic of Congo.

South Africa announced six new cases of the virus on Wednesday, bringing its total to 13, the most in sub-Saharan Africa. North African countries have also recorded nearly 100 cases.

The patient in Ivory Coast is in stable condition in hospital in the commercial capital Abidjan, the health ministry said in a statement.

Sub-Saharan Africa did not confirm its first case of coronavirus until Feb. 28 in Nigeria, but experts warn that rising case loads could test already fragile health systems.

(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Edward McAllister)