COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, prompting African governments to step up efforts to contain the spread of the disease it causes.
The coronavirus – known as COVID-19 – spreads from person to person in close proximity, similar to other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu.
Droplets of bodily fluids – such as saliva or mucus – from an infected person are dispersed in the air or on surfaces by coughing or sneezing.
These droplets can come into direct contact with other people or can infect those who pick them up by touching infected surfaces and then their face.
According to scientists, coughs and sneezes can travel several feet and stay suspended in the air for up to 10 minutes.
The incubation period of the coronavirus, the length of time before symptoms appear, is between one and 14 days.
The infection is now more widespread than the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, which also originated in China.
The WHO has designated the outbreak with its highest warning level, as it did for five others, including Ebola in 2014 and 2019, polio in 2014, the Zika virus in 2016 and swine flu in 2009.