COVID-19: WHO will support Algeria’s health authorities

WHO is preparing to deploy a team of experts to Algeria to support local health authorities. The Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform has reported the country’s first case of COVID-19 this Wednesday (26). Health authorities report that tests indicate that an Italian adult, who arrived in the country on 17 February 2020 has tested positive for coronavirus disease. Italy is the European country with the most cases of the disease: there are 374 cases of infected people and 12 deaths.

Africa’s first COVID-19 case was reported earlier this month in Egypt. “The window of opportunity the continent has had to prepare for coronavirus disease is closing. All countries must ramp up their preparedness activities”, said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Algeria is one of 13 countries that WHO has identified as a top priority for preparedness measures due to their direct links or a high volume of travel to China. In addition to Algeria, twelve other countries are considered priorities by WHO: Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Brazil confirms the first case

Brazilian authorities are investigating 34 people who had the closest contact with the Brazilian who is infected with the coronavirus. They are thirty relatives who were having lunch at the patient’s home last weekend and four others who were close to him on the flight he made from Italy to Brazil last Friday (21). So far, none of the people who have had contact with the contaminated, have shown symptoms.