Despite many prevention and control measures, African countries still face challenges in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, said an expert at the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC) on April 2.
Wang Xiaochun, a professor of epidemiology and senior advisor for disease control at the ACDC, analyzed the anti-epidemic measures taken by African countries and challenges they are facing at an online seminar on that day.
According to the ACDC, Africa's first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Egypt on February 15. As of April 2, the number of confirmed cases in Africa has exceeded 6,000.
"In the face of the rapid spread of the epidemic, the African continent has also taken many prevention and control measures, such as travel restrictions. Up to now, 32 countries have completely closed their borders, including land, sea and air," Wang said.
"But the number of reported cases in Africa has increased significantly in recent weeks," he noted.
At the beginning of the outbreak, most cases in the continent were imported, but recently more and more countries have seen community transmission, which has the potential to grow into wider spread, Wang added.
In his view, most African countries are not ready to deal with a COVID-19 epidemic due to the insufficient stocks of medical supplies and equipment, such as masks and ventilators. In addition, some African countries have limited basic medical facilities and services. If infection cases grow in large number, it will be a big challenge for Africa.