Africa should “wake up” to the coronavirus risk and put together for the worst, the top of the World Health Organization (WHO) has mentioned.
The continent ought to be taught from how the unfold of virus has sped up elsewhere, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned.
He warned that whereas Africa’s confirmed circumstances had been at present low – round 640 – there was no cause for complacency.
“Africa should wake up, my continent should wake up,” mentioned the Ethiopian, the WHO’s first African head.
Health consultants warn that strained public well being techniques in Africa may develop into rapidly overwhelmed if the virus takes maintain.
“WHO’s recommendation is actually mass gatherings should be avoided and we should do all we can to cut it from the bud, expecting that the worst could happen,” Mr Tedros instructed a information convention in Geneva, the place the WHO is predicated.
In Africa, 16 individuals have died from Covid-19, the respiratory sickness attributable to coronavirus: six in Egypt, six in Algeria, two in Morocco, one in Sudan and one in Burkina Faso.
In South Africa, which has 116 circumstances, President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a state of catastrophe, proscribing journey, closing colleges, banning mass gatherings and ordering bars to shut or restrict numbers to 50.
Other nations on the continent have additionally been imposing comparable restrictions this week.
From Saturday, Nigeria says it is going to cease arrivals from any nation the place there are greater than 1,000 circumstances of coronavirus.