With hundreds of travelers arriving in Africa from China every day, officials have reason to be concerned about coronavirus infecting another continent.
Africa is home to about 1 million Chinese, the Associated Press reported Saturday. Many of these people are in Africa there as part of China’s efforts to extract African mineral resources, according to the Institute of Developing Economics. However, the threat of Chinese workers bringing coronavirus with them into Africa has officials gravely concerned, AP reported.
“We are now practicing hygiene, even in the mines,” the president of the Mine Workers Union of Zambia told the AP. However simple hygiene may not be enough to contain an outbreak of the potentially lethal sickness.
While basic medical supplies like gloves and disinfectant have been stockpiled in Zambia, an African country with a significant Chinese presence, Zambian physiotherapist Fundi Sinkala warns that his country is “definitely not prepared,” according to the AP. “If we had a couple of cases, it would spread very quickly,” he says.
One of Africa’s key weaknesses in the area of virus containment is the continent’s inability to detect and quarantine early cases. There is a critical shortage of testing kits that enable doctors to differentiate the flu from something more dire, and a Chinese run hospital in Zambia has failed to isolate individuals arriving from China with potential Coronavirus symptoms, the AP reported.
There have also been reports that a Chinese doctor who has been tending to the sick in Zambia has fallen ill and been absent from work for the last week, the AP said. (RELATED: Coronavirus And Quarantines: How Wokeness Endangers Public Health)
However, because no one in Zambia has the resources to test for coronavirus specifically, it has been impossible to say whether or not those showing symptoms are infected with the virus.
This has forced health care providers to operate by “just relying on the symptoms,” Sinkala said. “But from what we are learning right now, some people [who have coronavirus] show hardly any symptoms at all,” he adds.
While neither Zambia nor Africa as a whole have confirmed any cases of coronavirus, Zambia’s health ministry spokesman vowed to the AP that if his country confirms a case, it “will definitely inform the world.”