Gabon Copies South Korea In Fight Against COVID-19

Since the outbreak of the COVID -19 pandemic, South Korea’s testing for the virus has been cited worldwide as a good example of how to curb the spread of the virus.

With 10,674 COVID-19 confirmed cases, South Korea has so far succeeded in treating 8,114 patients with only 236 fatalities, making the country a global role model in the fight against the coronavirus

Based on this record, the government of Gabon decided to copy the example and recently sent three health experts to South Korea to undergo an accelerated training programme on COVID-19 testing.

The training involved observing first hand the strategy used by the Koreans to curb the spread of the virus and how to apply the strategy in Gabonese communities.

Gabon embarked on a mass testing within its territory on April 17.

To accelerate the initiative, the Gabonese government acquired the latest state-of-the-art equipment that would enable it to test about 30,000 Gabonese for COVID-19 within the coming weeks.

According to Prof. Romain Tchoua, Coordinator of Gabon’s Anti-Coronavirus Task Force, the equipment includes diagnostic apparatus which will be allocated to laboratories receiving test samples from various centres set up in the country for that purpose.

Dr Armel Mintsa, Assistant Director of the Gabonese National Public Health Laboratory, said the instruments would enable health workers to do rapid tests that would enable the country to test 30,000 persons within a few weeks hence.

The South Korean Embassy in Gabon also said the South Korean company, KT, based in Libreville, Gabon, had offered some sanitary and medical products to the country as its contribution to the fight against COVID-19. The products arrived in Gabon on Saturday, April 18, 2020.

The South Korean Ambassador to Gabon, Ryu Chang-soo, said that his government had put at the disposal of Gabon 50,000 coronavirus test kits.

Gabon as at Monday, April 20, had 109 confirmed cases of COVID-19. So far seven patients have been successfully treated and discharged from hospital one person has died.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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