.…To send diagnostic kits to 20 countries
Prudence Ijah, Abuja
The World Health Organization (WHO) says at least 20 African countries will get diagnostic kits for proper and effective detection of Coronavirus.
Speaking during an interactive session with health journalists in Abuja, the WHO Technical Officer, Health Emergencies, Dhamari Naidoo, said plans are on going to procure and distribute diagnostic kits to at least 20 African countries within the week.
She stressed the need for early detection of the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) in order to curb the spread of the virus.
“One way WHO is supporting is through the procurement and distribution of diagnostics kits which are being rolled out this week in a lot of countries at least 20 countries in the African region to provide that diagnostics testing capacity.” Naidoo said.
According to WHO, there are over 28,000 confirmed coronavirus cases globally, with China having 28,060 confirmed while the number of severe cases are 3,859 with a total death of 564 people. Outside China, there are 260 confirmed cases reported from 24 countries and one country recording a death.
While speaking on the risk assessment for Nigeria, Naidoo said the risk assessment is high because of the high travel between Nigeria and China, adding that one of the main priorities of WHO is to pay close attention to the major nine ports of entry into the country.
In her words: “China risks assessment remains very high, the global risk of spread remains high as the regional risk of spread. For Nigeria, we are focusing our attention on nine states that have ports of entry air travel and water. This is; Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Delta, and Bayelsa. That is our main priority right now”.
The World Health Organization reiterated the need for enhanced coordination, cooperation and global solidarity amongst its member states and the global community, to work together to support China, while ensuring that systems are in place and ready to detect the virus.