As coronavirus spreads across the globe, countries in Africa are taking preventive measures to keep the disease out and many are showing a strong level of preparedness to counter its spread.
There are now more than 100 cases recorded in 11 countries in Africa, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization.
Egypt remains the nation with the most reported cases with 59, more than half of all confirmed cases on the continent.
Most of the cases in Egypt are among passengers and crew members aboard a Nile cruise ship coming from southern city of Aswan to Luxor, Egypt state-run Ahram Online reported.
Egypt’s health ministry announced Sunday that a German citizen was the first death from the virus in the country, according to Ahram Online.
Although there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Rwanda, citizens are encouraged to maintain good hygiene.
Similarly, Kenya has not confirmed any cases of coronavirus, but it has opened a 120-bed quarantine center in the capital Nairobi. It also has two testing facilities, which countries in the region rely on.
In South Africa, with 13 cases of the virus so far, citizens can now walk into private laboratories and pay for private coronavirus tests costing around $75, according to local media report
In Lagos, Nigeria, temperature screenings and use of hand sanitizers before entering public spaces such as banks, offices and restaurants are becoming mandatory to limit the spread of the disease.
Signs informing the public on the best practices to avoid contracting coronavirus can be seen in parts of the city. Scores of health workers have been deployed at international airports in Nigeria to screen all arriving passengers.
Similar measures have also been adopted across the continent and passengers with suspected cases of the virus are placed in quarantine.
Health officials said that Nigeria’s experience with Ebola in 2014 has prepared the country for outbreaks such as coronavirus.
NCDC director Chikwe Ihekweazu pointed to the speed with which Nigeria identified and confined the patient as a sign the country is prepared to deal with the outbreak.
“The system worked. We identified this case, diagnosed and isolated within 48 hours of it entering the country,” Ihekweazu said. In other countries like Iran and Italy for instance, by the time the first case had been confined, there was widespread contact.”
He added: “We successfully managed Ebola … and are currently managing Lassa fever. We have a strong team that is used to doing this.”
The NCDC has been lauded for the level of detail and information it has put out since Nigeria recorded its first case last month.
The countries with reported cases as of Wednesday, according to the World Health Organization, include the following:
Algeria — 20
Burkina Faso — 2
Cameroon — 2
Democratic Republic of Congo –1
Egypt — 59 (includes 1 death)
Morocco — 3 (includes 1 death)
Nigeria — 2
Senegal — 4
South Africa — 13
Tunisia — 5
Togo — 1
South Africa on Wednesday released a statement saying it had recorded six new cases of the virus, bringing the total number to 13.
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