Africa is ill-equipped to respond to the deadly corona virus outbreak, the World Health Organization said Saturday.
The global health body is concerned about the spread of the virus in countries with weak health systems on the continent.
Director General of the WHO Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus said this at a meeting of 36 African health ministers at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa via video link from Geneva, Switzerland.
In some member states we have weak public health institutions, weak systems, health systems, we have gaps in the diagnostics.
“If truly we have a virus introduced on the continent and it becomes a larger issue the ability to procure diagnostics in a timely fashion to support that testing will still be limited”, Director of the AU Centres for Disease Control, Dr. John Nkengasong said.
Commissioner of Social Affairs at the AU Amira El Fadil says they are managing to fill in the gaps.
“In some member states we have weak public health institutions, weak systems, health systems, we have gaps in the diagnostics, we have gaps also for the treatments and the measures we need to take quickly, but I think by joining our collective efforts as African member states by the leadership of WHO and joined effort of the African CDC we managed very quickly to fill in the gaps of the diagnostic capabilities on the continent”, El Fadil said.
Egypt was the only the nation on the continent to confirm CONVID-19 mid February. The virus has claimed the lives of 2,462 people and there have been 78,773 of cases reported in China and other nations. Some 23,256 people have recovered from the virus.
The WHO declared the outbreak a public health emergency late last month.