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All 17 people who came in contact with first coronavirus patient in Africa test negative, says Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong

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All the 17 people who came in contact with the first coronavirus patient in Africa have tested negative and are under home isolation for 14 days, the director of Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. John Nkengasong said in a statement from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He said they were all being followed up by the Ministry of Health and Population.

On February 14, 2020, the Minister of Health and Population of Egypt, Dr Hala Zayed, confirmed the first case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Egypt.

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In her statement, she confirmed that the patient was male, 33 years old, of foreign origin and was receiving treatment at an isolation center in Egypt.

“We are confident that Egypt has the expertise to manage the situation. Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is communicating with officials in Egypt and the World Health Organization Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Region to coordinate support for Egypt in responding to this outbreak,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

He said Africa CDC was working closely with the WHO and other partners to ensure that the diagnostic tools needed by Egypt were available and that they take the right actions to contain the outbreak as quickly as possible.

“As I have said before, we anticipated that the COVID-19 outbreak would inevitably impact Africa. That is why Africa CDC has been working actively with African Union Member States and partners in the past four weeks and investing in preparedness and response to the disease. This detection by Egyptian authorities is evidence of the strategy that Africa CDC and Member States have adopted in combating the disease. 

“Last week, in Dakar, Senegal, we conducted training and supplied test kits to 16 African laboratories, including from Egypt.  Egypt also received additional test kits from the WHO.

“This week, we are conducting training in Nairobi, Kenya, for 40 participants from nine countries, including Egypt, on enhancing detection and investigation of COVID-19 at points-of-entry. The training is co-facilitated by Africa CDC, WHO, and the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO). Two airlines, Kenya Airways and South African Airlines, are also represented in the training.

“In the next two weeks, further training and resources will be provided to Egypt and other at-risk countries for infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities, medical management of COVID-19, and risk communication and community engagement.

“I thank you,” Dr John Nkengasong added.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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