Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, addresses a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Chen Junxia)
The chief of World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday that with WHO's support, many countries in Africa and the Americas will soon be able to test COVID-19 by themselves.
At a daily COVID-19 briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that his agency had shipped supplies of personal protective equipment to 21 countries, and will ship to another 106 countries in the coming weeks.
"By the end of this week, 40 countries in Africa and 29 in the Americas are due to have the ability to detect COVID-19," he said.
"Many of these countries have been sending samples to other countries for testing, waiting several days for results. Now they can do it themselves, within 24 to 48 hours."
The WHO chief added that some countries in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo where the Ebola outbreak is still going on, are now leveraging the capacity they have built up to test for Ebola to test for COVID-19.
"This is a great example of how investing in health systems can pay dividends for health security," said Tedros.