Countries across Africa have begun to initiate lockdowns as cases of COVID-19 rise above 1,000, with Nigeria announcing it is closing airports to all incoming international flights for a month in the continent’s most populous country.
Experts are concerned the continent will not be able to handle a surge in cases without the depth of medical facilities available in more developed economies.
“This is one of the biggest health challenges Africa has faced in a generation,” said Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organisation’s regional director for Africa, said.
“Adopting approaches which are adaptable to the African context is key to containing the spread,” she said.
Africa now has more than 1,100 cases of the coronavirus, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Many African countries have already shut their borders, closed schools and universities and barred large public gatherings.