It’s now just over six weeks since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Since that announcement on the 11th of March, lockdowns and restrictions on movement have become the new normal in many parts of the world, as governments rush to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The daily number of new infections appear to be falling in parts of the world but there are fears the epicentre of the virus could move to the continent and overwhelm the already fragile healthcare system. Just 9 weeks after Africa recorded its first case of COVID-19, the virus is creeping across the continent infecting over 26,000 people.
And while many governments on the continent remain uncertain about the gravity of its impact, others are setting the pace in containment and testing. Countries like Mauritius have managed to hold COVID-19 new infections from growing, while South Africa has taken mobile testing to its communities. Meanwhile Ghana is deliberating lifting its lockdown even as Rwanda is praised for its steps on containment and provision of essentials supplies. However instability and insecurity in countries like South Sudan and Somalia have heavily impacted their health system and this has further complicated their response measures.
This week on Talk Africa we explore Africa’s mixed bag in managing the challenges resulting from COVID-19.