Seven African countries will start administering coronavirus antibody tests from next week, as part of efforts to understand the extent of the outbreak on the continent.
“Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Morocco are the first set of countries that committed to it,” said John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Addis Ababa. Western governments are using antibody tests to find out how many of their citizens have been infected, in the hope that will help them reopen their economies.
Nkengasong said 25 African countries still have full border closures while 23 are imposing testing at entry points. He stressed the need to harmonize border testing and recognition of certificates in order to facilitate travel. Africa has so far conducted 9.4 million coronavirus tests, a 10% increase over last week, Nkengasong said.