Deadly COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria isoshttp://t.co/COejDTwjula via @emqvist

The central African country on Wednesday reported the first fatality from the novel coronavirus in the eastern Sahel.

Efforts to contain the spread of the virus in a country of some 3. 5 million people have been severely hampered in recent weeks by a massive outbreak in a refugee camp where camps are divided into daily groups with a period from April 3 to 23.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported two fatalities in the camp of some 2, 000 people, 0 of whom were in critical condition.

Migrant workers have been unable to go about their usual daily duties in the camps basking in the bright summer sun, waiting for a meal.

“My (. . . ) colleague died (. . . ) and I woke up in the morning with a fever and tried to get him to go, ” chief Red Cross official Issa Maïa told Reuters.

Nigeria, which has fared better than many other African nations in containing the coronavirus outbreak, has rented field hospitals for more than 2, 000 Ebola patients in collaboration with disease control experts.

The drug-resistant Ebola virus has begun to wipe out some of the most advanced infection strains in the camps, but the virus was detected late last year in what was then just a northern Uganda village.

Maïa said he and his colleagues had not just harbored contamination, but that they were taking huge risks by bringing the disease into the camps.

Nigeria’s response has been severely hampered by a shortage of medical personnel due to poor transport links and widespread abandonment of health services.

Maïa said that 300 doctors a week had left the country in the last five months. He said diagnostic tests at 45 quarantine sites across the camps were untested.