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Expert reaction to news of first COVID-19 case in Africa

Posted On: 17 Feb 2020   |   Posted By: Science Media Centre

The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Egypt by the director of the African CDC.
Dr Bharat Pankhania, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said:
“We know there's a lot of travel between China and Africa, so it's no surprise that the first case of the virus has been detected in Africa. It must now be an urgent priority to contain person-to-person transmission and ensure the virus does not spread to poorer parts of the continent, where the infrastructure and crowded living conditions would make containment strategies via quarantine impossible.
“We urgently need all nations to share their combined logistical and diagnostic expertise together with expert clinical and epidemiological and public health support. We need the global community working on the ground alongside African organisations to contain this virus and stop it spreading to a degree that could have serious global implications.”
Professor Christl Donnelly, WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling, Imperial College...

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