Published on: 02/14/2020 18:43
The new coronavirus has arrived in Africa, where a confirmed case has been reported in Egypt. This was announced by the Egyptian Health Minister – as reported by Arab News – specifying that it is a foreign patient – of which no other details have been provided – hospitalized in isolation in hospital. The minister, in a note, explained that he immediately informed the World Health Organization (WHO) and that he had taken all the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
In the latest WHO bulletin, with the epidemic data updated to yesterday evening 13 February, there were no confirmed cases of Covid-19 on the African continent.
The arrival of the new coronavirus in Africa, with the first case confirmed by the Egyptian Ministry of Health, “it’s not good news. Not so much because it is the first case, but because it means that the virus has moved to a weak continent from the point of view of public health, diagnostic capacity and responsiveness “, he tells AdnKronos Salute Walter Ricciardi, full professor of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the Catholic University of Rome, representative of Italy on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Ability to manage a similar emergency, that of Africa, which “the World Health Organization has tried to strengthen in the last few days. What Tedros (WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, ed) spoke of” terrorism “- he explains the expert – he was referring to this “, that is to say danger that the spread of the new coronavirus could represent in nations from the fragile health system. “We just have to hope” in the ability of health services to react, “and Egypt is certainly not a fragile country,” notes Ricciardi.
But how big is the risk that this first case, relating to a foreign patient of which there is no further information, could give rise to local outbreaks of infection? For the former president of the Higher Institute of Health (ISS) it is too early to make predictions: “First of all we have to understand this person’s story well – he explains – Where he comes from, what he did, how he got to Egypt, what contacts he had “.
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