African Nations, WHO Work To Prepare For First Coronavirus Cases On Continent With Close Ties To China

Washington Post: Africa has 1.2 billion people and only six labs that can test for coronavirus. How quickly can they ramp up?
“…No cases have been confirmed so far in any of Africa’s 54 countries, but the risk of an outbreak is high, World Health Organization leaders say. Africa is home to 1.2 billion people, including an estimated 1 million Chinese nationals, who tend to work in business, construction, oil, and mining — a testament to Beijing’s increasingly tight relationship with Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and beyond. … To address that concern, medical teams from 15 African nations are convening in Dakar on Thursday for an emergency workshop on the first layer of readiness: diagnosing the new virus. WHO officials said 24 countries, encompassing most of Africa’s population, will receive the material needed to conduct the tests by the end of the week…” (Paquette et al., 2/6).

Additional coverage of African nations’ responses to the novel coronavirus is available from The Guardian and Reuters.