WHO: ‘Painful’ Ebola experience can help Africa deal with coronavirus

WHO: ‘Painful’ Ebola experience can help Africa deal with coronavirus

The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes the lessons learnt during the Ebola outbreak in 2013 will stand Africa in good stead as it battles coronavirus.


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The WHO in Africa held a press briefing on Thursday afternoon on the COVID-19 pandemic, which it warns has the potential to wipe out the old and the most vulnerable people in society. 


“We do think that some of the lesson learned, some of the interventions around the Ebola virus will be assessed and that will help in this case, said the organisation’s Dr Rebecca Moeti.


“There are very well established mechanisms now for talking to people at the community level and mobilising them even to be part of the surveillance system. We very much hope that the painful experience will have something to offer to what the country with our support and other partners is doing now to prepare now for the COVID-19 outbreak.”

The Ebola virus outbreak of 2013 claimed over 11 000 lives in West Africa.


Although the virus is still very active in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the number of reported cases has significantly decreased. 


“It’s been 42 days now where we have not have a case after the last case was discharged,” adds Moeti. 


Africa has 2 748 cases of coronavirus with 73 deaths.


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