The Covid-19 virus has proven to be unrelenting in its continuous rise inactive and death cases the world over. The African continent has for most parts implemented lockdowns with strict regulations to stop the continuous spread of the virus. Lockdowns have proved effective as they have helped curb the rampant spread of the virus. Most countries had projections of big numbers that have not become a reality as a result of effectively locking down.
Africa has not been as hit as other parts of the world. It is, however, prudent to stay ahead by taking radical and aggressive measures to stop the further spread. The healthcare systems in most African countries cannot effectively handle a severe outbreak of the virus. It is good that the continent is pushing to curb the spread and avoid having to treat multitudes of people.
As effective as the lockdown might be there has been noted the need to conduct tests to identify cases. Testing makes it possible to track and effectively quarantine affected individuals as some may be asymptomatic. The African Union has provided much-needed leadership in this regard. The Union’s Centres for Disease Control (CDC) announced plans to distribute 1 million covid19 test kits across the continent in a battle to curb the spread of the novel virus.
According to the CDC chief medical officer Dr. John Nkengasong, the African Union intends to provide up to 15 million test kits for African countries over the next three to six months. The aim is to tackle a big gap within the continent in testing. The statistics are given by African countries although true is feared to not be reflective of the situation on the ground due to low testing. African countries like South Africa and Ghana lead the continent on tests conducted but there is still a lot more work to be done in other parts of Africa.
There is a noted rise and spread of the virus from the African capitals to other places including the hinterlands. The noted spread may be caused by failure to implement strict lockdowns or track exposed individuals. There has been a projection that African cases could rise from just thousands now to 10 million within three to six months, according to provisional modeling, a regional WHO official said. The projection is however merely tentative and could change but this is based on people changing their behavior in time. The worst-case scenario projections for Ebola did not come true due to timeous change in behavior and the same can be true with covid19.
The guidance being offered by the African Union is much needed during such times it also allows for African leaders to share ideas and assistance where possible to fight the coronavirus. The advice from the WHO for preventative measures includes social distancing, national lockdowns, widespread testing, and tracking. The union is aware of the financial burdens on most African nations and is taking a much-needed role to assist the continent to avoid a sever wave of the pandemic spread.
Infections in South Africa that have the highest number of cases have slowed down due to effectively implementing a strict lockdown and aggressively testing and tracking cases. There is a need for a concerted effort to tackle covid19 and the African Union is bringing together much-needed unity and assistance to the continent during extremely testing times.
African states should also independently extend resources within their countries to equip their hospitals. There should be implementation and enforcement of strict lockdowns with measures in place to support the vulnerable citizens. Measures should also be put in place to protect businesses.
The African Union is offering much-needed leadership both in theory and practice. However African states should also make independent and effective decisions to ensure the spread of the virus is curbed and the curve is flattened