Measures Taken By African Countries To Contain The Outbreak Of Coronavirus


The South African government declared a national disaster on 15th March and banned travel to the most-affected countries, amid concerns that coronavirus will derail the economic recovery. Kenya has also imposed sweeping travel restrictions.

African countries are transforming themselves by learning from Ebola, says Elsie Kanza, Head of Africa at the World Economic Forum.

South Africa Corona

1 important fact to keep in mind is that across sub-Saharan Africa, only 3% of the population is over 65. This is sudden and extreme lower than similar age brackets in China (11%) and Italy (23%).

While young adults seem to suffer less with the virus, we could still see the increased strain on healthcare systems. Restricting the spread of the virus will be important.

The African Centre for Disease Control – the pan-African authority on public health created to respond to Ebola – has been supporting countries with the repurposing of screenings, surveillance systems and isolation wards for COVID-19. 43 countries can currently test for the virus.

Economically, there are multiple concerns, says Kanza. “With a global market slowdown, governments are likely to be looking at how to protect the economy from the impact of the spread of this virus.”

“We are likely to see a temporary hit due to the slowdown of European markets – a major trading partner for Africa – but the good news is that China’s factories are starting to switch back on and this could mitigate lasting damage.”

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Rohit Singhaniya

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