Brazzaville, 13 February 2020 – While, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus disease, now known as COVID-19, reported in the African region, the World Health Organization (WHO) is supporting countries in Africa with their efforts to prepare for any potential outbreak of the virus.
Many countries are building on expertise they have gained in preparing for an influenza pandemic as coronaviruses cause illnesses similar to influenza. In addition, since the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo started in 2018, WHO and partners have helped countries at high risk to prepare for possible Ebola cases. These efforts which have led to increased capacity in surveillance and the handling of infectious cases can also support the response to the novel coronavirus.
“We recognize that our countries have invested quite a bit in preparing for a potential Ebola outbreak and these efforts are paying off,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “We are seeing that in some of the key areas such as surveillance and infection control, that readiness capacities are now being deployed in relation to a possible coronavirus disease outbreak.”….more