Africa on high alert over coronavirus

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Africa is on high alert as a positive case of coronavirus continues to be monitored in Egypt.

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) says it is sending more assistance to Egypt to help it test for any other possible cases.

According to the Africa CDC, preparation for coronavirus in the continent started in January.

Egypt was one of the countries that were trained to test for coronavirus earlier in February.

Director African CDC Dr John Nkengasong says, “We have actually been very fortunate that we are prepared and remember that tests that Egypt is using now are tests that we had trained them in Senegal and given them an initial number of tests to take home. The World Health Organization (WHO) also supplied them with some of the tests. So I think it is beginning to conform to our preparedness plans that we had put in place.”

The Africa CDC says the case in Egypt should not worry about the rest of the continent.

“By Wednesday, we will send them additional test kits. About 1000 test kits will be flown into Egypt to make sure that the contacts that this particular case had before will be all tested,” adds Dr Nkengasong.

The Africa CDC is also training airport surveillance and monitoring teams across the continent.

So far, 16 Airport authorities and some airline companies in Africa have been trained on how to detect coronavirus cases at ports of entry, 16 more will be trained this week.

The Africa CDC has asked all public health institutions to step up surveillance within their countries too.