African countries move swiftly to head off coronavirus spread

A vendor at the Kimironko market in Rwanda wears a handmade ‘kitenge’ cloth mask, attempting to protect against coronavirus © Margaret Andresen/Reuters

Fears over health systems prompt states to take early preventative measures

March 18, 2020 5:00 am by David Pilling in London, Joseph Cotterill in Johannesburg and Neil Munshi in Lagos

Many African states are taking earlier action than Europe to suppress coronavirus in an effort to stamp out a disease that may be impossible to control if it takes hold in countries with crowded informal settlements and fragile health systems.

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