Explainer: African nations at highest risk of importing coronavirus

Explainer: African nations at highest risk of importing coronavirus

- The Lancet recently published the findings of its modelling study on the coronavirus outbreak

- The study found that South Africa, Algeria and Egypt are African countries at the greatest risk of importing the disease

- Egypt recently confirmed its first case of the virus, the first on the continent

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The Lancet has published its findings after conducting a modelling study on Africa's risk of importing the coronavirus from China.

The study found that South Africa, along with Algeria and Egypt, are at the greatest risk of bringing the disease into their borders.

With China currently Africa's biggest commercial partner, the study noted significant travel trends between the two regions.

Briefly.co.za reported that Egypt had recently announced its first confirmed case of the coronavirus, the first to hit Africa.

The study used two World Health Organisation indicators to estimate the risk facing African nations, namely preparedness and vulnerability.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus spreads to Africa: Egypt officially confirms first case

However, the overall risk of importing the disease is far lower in Africa (1%) than in Europe (11%):

“African countries have recently strengthened their preparedness, including airport surveillance, temperature screening at ports of entry, recommendations to avoid travel to China, and improved health information provided to health professionals and the general public. However, some countries remain ill-equipped."

The authors of the study said that measures have been put into place to prevent the import of the coronavirus in many African countries.

Nevertheless, limiting transmission depends on technical and operational expertise and resources in health systems, reports SowetanLIVE:

“While almost three-quarters of all African countries have an influenza pandemic preparedness plan, most are outdated and considered inadequate to deal with a global pandemic.”

On Wednesday, China confirmed 394 new cases down from the earlier 1 749 cases reported and the lowest since the end of January. The total number of confirmed cases in China is currently 74 576.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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