In the battle to contain the new coronavirus, ports and airports are at the forefront. And it is there that African countries put all their energy to avoid the outbreak on their territory of the epidemic that broke out in Wuhan, China. Africa has so far been spared but the question is how long? In any case, medical teams are mobilized to check the temperature of travelers, as in Dakar, where small thermal cameras appeared before passport control last week. “The first symptom of these contagious diseases is fever,” explains, quoted by AFP, the head of health controls at Blaise Diagne airport in Diass, near Dakar, Doctor BarnabĂ© Gning. He “luckily”, he said, had just received training in November to react quickly to epidemics.

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The international emergency justified

In the event of fever, the procedure plans to put travelers in solitary confinement, the time to carry out tests. The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday called “an international emergency” the epidemic started in China, which has spread to several regions of the world. The main cases of direct contagion between humans have been observed in China. Others have been reported in Vietnam, Germany, Japan, the United States and France. “Our biggest concern is the possibility that the virus will spread to countries with weaker health systems,” WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in Geneva. The risk of such transmissions is “very low in developed countries,” said J. Stephen Morrison of the Center for International Strategic Studies (CSIS) in Washington.

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Fear of spread in Africa

However, if cases were exported “to certain African countries or other continents where the means of health security are limited, large epidemic foci could then break out outside of China”, fears the expert. States are aware of the danger of viruses. West Africa was affected in 2014-2016 by the worst known Ebola epidemic which killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and reached ten countries, including Spain and the United States. United. This hemorrhagic fever has also left more than 2,200 people dead since its reappearance in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in August 2018.

The DRC has also called on its nationals to “refrain from traveling to China until further notice”, in a government statement read on Saturday on public television. In Liberia, the head of the public health institute, Mosoka Fallah, estimated the cost of the measures to be taken immediately at $ 3 million. “Measures must be taken as soon as possible to prevent him from entering here,” he said before the parliament, describing the speed of the spread of the coronavirus as “catastrophic”. “It is done” if the coronavirus returns to the country, an Angolan student, Anciao Fabiao Paulo, estimates in Luanda. “Our health system is vulnerable and we don’t have good specialists. People are already falling like flies because of malaria,” he said. A “special effort” of surveillance is expected from countries with strong ties to China, including Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda and Mauritius, told Addis Ababa on director of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), John Nkengasong.

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Watch out for rumors

In Cape Verde, locals flock to fennel, reputedly – wrongly – to be a remedy for the new coronavirus. In Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, the closure of a Chinese store made people fear the arrival of the disease, when it was simply a question of removing shelves from expired food. Without falling into psychosis, the authorities of several countries, including Senegal, recommend that people take precautionary measures, such as washing their hands with soap or sneezing in tissues, and medical services have been made aware. In Mozambique, authorities have suspended the issuance of visas for Chinese citizens. “For the same purpose, visas for Mozambicans wishing to travel to China are also suspended until the situation returns to normal,” said government spokeswoman Helena Khida. In Mauritania, the Chinese embassy asked its nationals who recently returned from China to stay home for two weeks. A similar measure has been requested from anyone returning from China by the Nigerian Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.

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