Gabon on Friday confirmed the first death in the country due to the novel coronavirus.

The patient was 50 years old and had recently returned from France, the local Gabonreview news website reported.

He had suffered from diabetes and hypertension, according to the website.

On March 13, Gabon confirmed its first COVID-19 case, with the number of patients rising to three as of Friday, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

More than 600 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in 34 countries in Africa as of March 19, compared with 147 cases a week ago,

Read more: Coronavirus: Gabon confirms first COVID-19 death case