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Africa Union forms Task Force to fight 2019 Coronavirus COVID 19

We are scaling up very rapidly across the continent said John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. However, until today there is no confirmed case of the virus in Africa.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Addis Ababa | Updated: 04-03-2020 18:13 IST | Created: 14-02-2020 22:56 IST
Africa Union forms Task Force to fight 2019 Coronavirus COVID 19
Mr. John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Image Credit : AU

Countries in the African continent have decided to set up a task force under the supervision of the African Union (AU) to fight with coronavirus in a coordinated manner.

Announcing the setting up of the task force, Mr. John Nkengasong informed the media in Addis Ababa that the African Union (AU) had decided to establish 'Africa Task Force for Corona Preparedness and Response'. The task force will coordinate among the members of the AU to create awareness, training and other requirements to minimize the spread of COVID 19 in the region and ensuring adequate treatment facilities for the infected persons.

The uniqueness of this task force is that the ownership and leadership will be own and shared by the African Union, World Health Organisation (WHO) and its member countries, he informed. As per the plan the task force will have five main units - surveillance, screening, disinfection, prevention and control. "We have not yet had any confirmed case in Africa. There have been 51-suspected cases reported and all of them have tested negative," he added.

Until today 1490 people have died in China due to COVID 19. There have been two more deaths out of China one each in Philippine and Japan.

Nkengasong informed that adequate facilities are being arranged for clinical management of patients such as laboratories, diagnosis, waste management and community engagement. "We conduct daily emergency operations activity right h in African Unions CDC Centre situated at the Head Quarter. We link up member of states & discussed what has occurred during the previous days and prepare plans accordingly," he added. He further informed that earlier there were only two facilities one each in South Africa and Senegal (Dakar) but now we have that facility in 16 countries. "We will be able to add 20 more laboratories by February 20," he said informing about the progress of the preparations. The training facilities are also being provided people from 40 countries of Africa, he added. Nkengasong emphasized that AU is working in coordination with World Health Organization (WHO). He also asked the people to follow do's and don'ts prescribed by WHO for COVID 19.

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