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Likelihood of a Coronavirus Outbreak in Africa is “Very Very High” Says WHO Official

Medical staff at the Ethiopian Ministry of Health prepare to screen passengers at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, on January 30, 2020, following an outbreak of coronavirus in China. Michael Tewelde / AFP

Although there are still no confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus in Africa, World Health Organization officials believe that it is increasingly likely the deadly virus will make its way to the continent. WHO program manager for emergency operations in Africa Michel Yao said the chances are “very very high” that an outbreak of the virus will happen in Africa.

Yao added that his agency is concentrating their efforts on 12 countries that are either major transport hubs like Ethiopia and Kenya, have large populations of Chinese migrants like Ghana and Kenya or lack the necessary resources to mount an effective defense against an outbreak as is the case in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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