The coronavirus was confirmed in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December 2019.
Cases have since been confirmed in over scores of countries across the globe.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, has since declared it a pandemic. WHO chief Tedros Ghebereyesus said while China had a robust health system to detect and control, his outfit remained concerned about the virus entering countries with weak systems.
With about 30 African countries currently with recorded cases, governments continue to roll out increasingly robust measures to halt the spread and to contain the pandemic which has claimed a number of lives.
Africa could be underreporting figures
“You know as of today (March 18), the number of cases reported from sub-Saharan Africa are 233 cases and four deaths, that is actually in terms of confirmed cases, it is the lowest region.
“But as Mike said, we cannot take this number as the amount of, or the number of cases we have in Africa, probably we have undetected cases or unreported cases. But in addition to that, even if we take this 233 cases as true, we have to prepare for the worst.
“In other countries we have seen how the virus actually accelerates after a certain tipping point. So the best advice for Africa is to prepare for the worst and prepare today. It is actually better if these numbers are really true, to cut it from the bud.
“And that is why we are saying we have to do the testing, we have to do the contact tracing, we have to do the isolation and cut it from the bud,” the words of Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
He was speaking on Wednesday March 18 in the WHO’s daily press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.
He stressed the need for mass gatherings to be avoided because of the propensity of aiding quick spread of the virus. “I think Africa should wake up, I think my continent should wake up,” he added.