Quarterly Newsletter of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, March 2020

Africa’s COVID-19 preparedness and response

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic took the world by surprise as it spread rapidly from China to Europe, the Americas, and other parts of the globe. Africa seemed to have been spared in the early days of the outbreak and this gave African countries time to plan, prepare and work together to discuss appropriate response activities needed to limit the spread of COVID-19 and associated fatalities in Africa.

Africa CDC has been at the centre of the continental preparedness and response initiatives.
“We started addressing COVID-19 preparedness and responsevery early through our continental
strategy. We started organizing training for our Member States. A week after Egypt reported the first
case in Africa, we convened an emergency meeting of Africa health ministers.
We knew that this was a significant threat and that it was a question of time before the virus hit the continent,” says Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.



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