The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday, January 31; listed Nigeria and 12 other nations as high-risk African countries for the coronavirus.
Equally important, the 12 other countries are – Algeria, Angola, Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Mauritius. Others are South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
The United Nations agency said in a statement the 13 nations have direct links or a high volume of travel to China.
WHO said: “Active screening at airports has been established in a majority of these countries and while they will be WHO first areas of focus; the organization will support all countries in the region in their preparation efforts.
“It is critical that countries step up their readiness; in particular put in place effective screening mechanisms at airports and other major points of entry; to ensure that the first cases are detected quickly,” added WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti.
“The quicker countries can detect cases; the faster they will be able to contain an outbreak and ensure the novel coronavirus does not overwhelm health systems.”
No reported cases of coronavirus yet in Africa
As yet, there are no confirmed cases of the potentially fatal virus in Africa.
Meanwhile, oil prices rose on Friday, January 31, but were still set for a fourth consecutive weekly loss; as markets attempted to assess the economic damage of the new coronavirus. The epidemic has spread from China to around 20 countries, killing more than 200 people.
On Thursday, the WHO said that the coronavirus outbreak was a global emergency; although it calmed the markets by opposing travel restrictions.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 rose by 24 cents to 52.38 dollars a barrel, however; it remained down 3.3 percent on the week.
Both benchmarks rose by over 1 dollar earlier in the session.