Coronavirus: Africa to get 100% testing capacity ‘soon’ – WHO

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By Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

In the next couple of weeks all African countries will have the capacity to test for coronavirus as part of preparedness for the rampaging virus.

Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s Africa region head told the BBC that she expected that all nations in sub-Saharan Africa will be able to test for the coronavirus soon.

“We expect in the next couple of weeks that all 47 of our member states will have the facilities to diagnose this virus,” she said.

Records indicate that 33 countries in the region already have facilities in place a boost from the previous two where only Senegal and South Africa did months back. In january, a suspected case in Ivory Coast was tested in Senegal.

Whiles Ethiopia and Kenya sent samples to South Africa for testing before the WHO deployed testing facilities in late January. The AU’s Center for Disease Control, CDC, has also been in the forefront of boosting the capacity of member states.

The WHO Africa head admitted that a headache was likely to arise only if the virus spread rapidly to African cities with no facilities to contain and treat people.

Sub-Saharan Africa has two cases confirmed so far; an Italian national in Nigeria and a French national in Senegal. Over in North Africa classified by WHO as part of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa Region), Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria have all recorded cases.