While the deadly Novel Coronavirus rips through China devouring hundreds of victims and infecting tens of thousands, Africa, so far, has had the good fortune to not have a single confirmed case. Experts, though, are not confident that Africa will remain immune for much longer as the virus moves steadily around the world.
African countries across the continent, with support from the World Health Organization, have rapidly mobilized frontline defenses at major ports of entry and in hospitals in a bid to detect anyone who displays symptoms of this highly-contagious virus.
Major transportation hubs like those in Addis Ababa and Nairobi are especially important as they are the continent’s two major crossroads in the Asia-Africa corridor with thousands of people transiting through their airports daily.
In Kenya, there are real reasons to be concerned that both the government and the society at large “are not treating the issue with the seriousness it requires,” said Elizabeth Merab, the Daily Nation’s science and health reporter who is covering the coronavirus story in Nairobi. “Should there be a case in Kenya, the continent out to worry,” she warned.
Elizabeth joins Eric & Cobus this week to explain why she’s so concerned about the lack of preparedness in Kenya for the arrival of Novel Coronavirus and what’s at stake for the rest of the continent.
- The New Humanitarian: Ready or not? Africa and the coronavirus by April Zhu
- The Standard: Coronavirus: Bitten before, Kenya takes cautious path by Gatonye Gathura
- The Conversation: Perspectives from Kenya and Ghana on coronavirus preparations by Abdhalah Ziraba and Peter Kojo Quashie
Elizabeth is a reporter at the Daily Nation who mainly writes news and feature stories that focus on health and science. She also does regional and global human interest stories and dabbles in data journalism too.
She studied English, Literature and Education in her undergraduate studies and is currently pursuing a Masters’ in Medical Sociology.
To reach her, follow her on Twitter at @emcleans and on email with firstname.lastname@example.org