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Coronavirus – Africa

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We should give Africa credit for the excellent job its ministries of health, and the Africa Centres for Disease Control, have been delivering when it comes to highly communicable diseases.


Africa has stunned the world by not taking a leading role in the headlines about the global crisis we are now facing with the Coronavirus pandemic.  There are numerous theories as to why this is so, ranging from Africa’s experience with epidemics, which has better prepared its countries to isolate victims of highly contagious diseases, to speculation about the disease’s ability to survive warm weather, to the disease has simply not arrived in large numbers, yet.

I was traveling in Africa during February at the time that the Coronavirus was making its way from Wuhan, China to the rest of the world.  When I landed in Mauritius, I had to fill out a detailed public health survey while still on the plane, and before I could go through passport control, nurses wearing masks took every passenger’s temperature with a laser infrared temperature gun.  Any passenger with a fever was pulled aside, and taken into quarantine. When I landed in South Africa a week later, government staff greeted all arriving passengers with a similar laser infrared temperature gun, as well as thermal cameras that detect elevated body temperature on a large display screen. Passengers with fevers were taken aside and screened further.  When I returned home to the United States several days later, there was no screening whatsoever, and anyone with a fever could waltz right into the country.

We should give Africa credit for the excellent job its ministries of health, and the Africa Centres for Disease Control, have been delivering when it comes to highly communicable diseases.

Here is a selection of important stories from varying viewpoints:

We will keep you updated on the impact of the virus on Africa in the coming days and weeks.

Kind regards,

Teresa Clarke, Chairman and Executive Editor


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