(Ecofin Agency) - Many African countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ethiopia, are taking preventive measures against the highly contagious Corona Virus currently hitting China (Africa’s leading trade partner), which has already killed 26 people.
“We have sent an alert to all the 47 counties. We have also heightened surveillance at all points of entry and screening has started,” said Kenya’s Acting Public Health Director-General Patrick Amoth at the launch of the Kenya Harmonized Health Facility Assessment report on Wednesday.
In Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, authorities are also on the alert. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control says travellers coming from China will now be subjected to several questions upon arrival, about possible signs of the disease and the places they visited during their journey.
In South Africa’s biggest airport OR Tambo, passengers from China are screened. Ethiopia, which is experiencing massive departures and arrivals from Asia, has also taken strong measures. The national airline Ethiopian Airlines is screening passengers departing from Chinese provinces affected by the disease, and arrangements have been made at Bole airport in Addis Ababa, which handles hundreds of thousands of passengers every week. The World Health Organization is currently consulting to determine whether a global alert should be issued.
China is a major trading partner of Africa, with a trade volume of $208.7 billion at the end of December 2019, up 2.3%. Chinese exports to the African continent has reached $113.2 billion, up 7.9%, according to statistics provided by the Chinese customs services.