Protesters in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan, have destroyed a coronavirus centre that was being built in the district of Yopougon.

Residents said it was being built in a crowded residential area, too close to their homes.

Videos on social media show people tearing apart the centre with their bare hands, smashing construction materials on the ground.

Some appeared to be hurling metal poles into a truck.

The health ministry said the building was never intended as a treatment centre, only as a testing facility.

Although, like much of Africa, Ivory Coast has had relatively few confirmed coronavirus cases, it has imposed a lockdown in Abidjan and a nationwide curfew.

Health officials urged people to wear masks to try to slow the spread of the virus.

The hostile response towards the testing centres is reminiscent of attitudes during Ebola outbreaks in West and Central Africa when some people attacked health workers, suspicious that they were bringing the disease to their communities, rather than offering crucial medical care.

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