NAIROBI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- An official with the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged African governments to reinforce surveillance against COVID-19 to help contain the virus.
Rudi Eggers, WHO Country Representative to Kenya said that the confirmation of a case in Kenya on Friday was a wakeup call for governments to step up their efforts.
"Governments must prepare for an eventual outbreak, and respond rapidly to contain and isolate these initial cases," Eggers said in a statement.
Eggers said that the state of the spread has reached a critical stage that calls for thorough preparation in surveillance and health facilities.
He said that since the Kenyan case transmission is believed to have occurred abroad, it is important that ports of entries are carefully manned and travelers asked to respond to the requirements.
"We have provided testing kits to national laboratories, trained laboratory technicians, dispatched personal protective equipment for health workers, thermal scanners and other essential supplies for screening and handling suspect cases at airports and other points of entry," said Eggers.
He said that the health agency will continue to provide technical and material support to countries in Africa, including the training of health workers.
Kenya's Ministry of Health on Friday announced the country's first case of COVID-19, a female Kenyan national.
The patient is believed to have contracted the virus abroad having returned from the United States where she lived, presented herself to a hospital.
She is currently being managed in isolation at the Infectious Disease Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).