As coronavirus spreads across the globe, countries in Africa are taking preventive measures to keep the disease out and many are showing a strong level of preparedness to counter its spread.
There are now more than 100 cases recorded in 11 countries in Africa, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization.
Egypt remains the nation with the most reported cases with 59, more than half of all confirmed cases on the continent.
Most of the cases in Egypt are among passengers and crew members aboard a Nile cruise ship coming from southern city of Aswan to Luxor, Egypt state-run Ahram Online reported.
Egypt’s health ministry announced Sunday that a German citizen was the first death from the virus in the country, according to Ahram Online.
Handwashing at bus stops
Although there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Rwanda, citizens are encouraged to maintain good hygiene.
A video posted by The New Times Rwanda on Twitter shows commuters washing their hands at taps installed at a bus station in Kigali.
Similarly, Kenya has not confirmed any cases of coronavirus, but it has opened a 120-bed quarantine center in the capital Nairobi. It also has two testing facilities, which countries in the region rely on.
In South Africa, with 13 cases of the virus so far, citizens can now walk into private laboratories and pay for private coronavirus tests costing around $75, according to local media report
In Lagos, Nigeria, temperature screenings and use of hand sanitizers before entering public spaces such as banks, offices and restaurants are becoming mandatory to limit the spread of the disease.
Signs informing the public on the best practices to avoid contracting coronavirus can be seen in parts of the city. Scores of health workers have been deployed at international airports in Nigeria to screen all arriving passengers.
Similar measures have also been adopted across the continent and passengers with suspected cases of the virus are placed in quarantine.
‘Ebola helped us prepare’
A second patient was confirmed in Nigeria earlier in the week. The person became ill after coming into contact with an Italian citizen who had traveled to Africa’s most populous country last month, according to the country’s health ministry.
The 44-year-old Italian man visited two states before he was diagnosed with the virus in late February. He remains in isolation in a stable condition, officials said.
Health officials have been working against the clock to trace all those who came into contact with the Italian man.
Those that have been traced will remain in isolation while tests are conducted, the country’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said.