Africa Battles COVID-19: How prepared is the African public?


The Corona virus has finally landed in Africa. Corona virus cases were slow to arrive in Africa, but the virus is spreading quickly, having infected more than 1,700 people across 45 countries and challenging already strained and under-funded health systems in the continent. Africa had a little more time to prepare for the eminent arrive of the the dreaded virus. All across Africa governments are putting measures in place to interrupt the transmission of the covid 19.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a three-week national lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly new coronavirus which has affected more than 400 people and ordered the military to enforce the ban.

He said government “has decided to enforce a nationwide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday the 26th of

March (to) avoid a human catastrophe”. The number of confirmed in cases in South Africa has climbed six-fold in just eight days from 61 to 402.

In Kenya, the government announced tough measures to try and combat the spread of the pandemic in the East African country.  Some of the measures include cancellation of public gatherings these include no church or mosque gatherings, the shutting down of all learning institutions, new directives governing the public transport sector and a raft of other measures to try and keep the Kenyan citizens safe. Kenya is not alone in this fight,  Rwanda become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to order a total shutdown because of the coronavirus. The tiny central African country has confirmed more than17 cases of the COVID-19 virus.

These tough measures combined with proper, factual information has helped many people become more aware about the pandemic and how to protect themselves and their families against their virus.

Hand washing protocols

Many Africa countries have moved fast to close down schools as a measure to protect the young ones form the corona virus. Rene del Carme, CGTNS correspondent in Capetown, South Africa, spoke to the Pietersen family on how they are dealing with the corona pandemic.  The Pietersens family are aware of the pandemic and have put in place the all important hand washing protocols to guard against the virus. “At the moment we’re using soap and dishwasher for our hands , because that’s the normal thing that we have to do. Sometimes we do use hand sanitizers at the household at the moment,” said Lolita Pietersen during the interview.

Schools on the other end haven’t been left behind, before the different governments shut them down, many schools had started to teach their students on how to wash their hands. This particular move would prove to be a genius move because one of the surest way of slowing down the horrendous virus is to wash hands regular.

Washing hands with soap and water has become the new normal across many homesteads in Africa.

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