The African Union (AU) says the continent is on high alert as the coronavirus that has gripped China spreads.

More than 100 people have died in China with confirmed infections surging to more than 4 000.

The United States and Australia have also confirmed infections.

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has urged countries on the continent to start applying preventive measures.

The organisation’s director Dr. John Nkengasong says the World Health Organisation (WHO) is helping the continent to take precautions.

“We are preparing as quickly as possible in a coordinated fashion with the World Health Organisation. We just conducted a meeting with all member states from the AU to check with them how prepared they are. We continue to provide them support in areas of laboratory testing, in the areas of enhanced airport screening and monitoring and also in the areas of infection, prevention and infection control especially the hospitals.”

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