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African Response to Crisis

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on March 20, 2020 13:27

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The Coronavirus is spreading rapidly through the continent, and the World Health Organization has warned: Africa should be prepared for the worst. With many African students returning from China, and many Chinese workers in Africa, it is a matter of time. But governments and people are prepared.

Fragile African Health Departments, overcrowded refugee camps, informal settlements around most African cities, and permeable borders Africa is an epidemiologist’s nightmare. However, the continent has experience with malaria, Ebola, and other diseases.

Most African governments have clamped down on news to prevent misinformation. Most international flights have been stopped. Tourists are trapped in Morocco, Mauritius and elsewhere. In South Africa, two international flights were sent back after disembarking nationals and holders of residence documents. A few days ago a passenger who had previously tested positive was disembarked from an international flight.

 N'djili Inter airport - SIMEX - WHO - Eugene Kabambi (97)


All businesses in Mauritius are closed, and anyone outside, unless going to the supermarket or the pharmacy, risk a fine or imprisonment. All citizens will receive financial compensation. In South Africa no alcohol may be served after six, no gatherings with more than 100 persons are allowed, and people are encouraged to self-isolate. Massive Easter services that draw millions were canceled, and a pastor who defied such orders during a radio show today was threatened by a caller who demanded that the pastor be jailed. A trade union, threatening to march against government austerity measures, was slapped down by the public and politicians.

In Rwanda, hand wash stations at every bus and taxi rank were manned by police. A massive refugee camp was placed in quarantine. A South African family who fled from quarantine were forcibly quarantined with a court order served.

Hand wash stations in Kigali, Rwanda. www.gambetanews.com


Medical personnel, already overstretched with testing for malaria, Lassa fever, monkeypox and Ebola heaved a sigh of relief at the news that a Senegalese Institute, in collaboration with British and German institutes, was close to finalizing a test kit for Coronavirus antibodies that would cost less than a dollar. It was expected that eight million test kits a year would be produced to be distributed at cost.

Dr Edith NKWEMBE, Microbiologist of INRB DRC using laboratory reagents to identify COVID-19 Afro.WHO.int

The African Center for Disease Control and Prevention built on its experience with Ebola to deploy more than 100 experts across Africa and distributing more than 60,000 test kits.

South African Reserve bank had slashed its Repo rate by one percent amidst an emerging recession, and an expert believes the Johannesburg Bourse is now the cheapest of the liquid exchanges. Should an upturn come soon, this is where the action will be.

An engineering company, Vesconite, offered its CNC machinery and plastics engineering expertise to build ventilators and asked anyone who could help with the knowledge to check in with them.

And based on reports that quinine, long used against Malaria, has an impact on the coronavirus, it may be the moment for a gin and tonic. Wish us luck!

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on March 20, 2020 13:27

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Source: CNN
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Uganda has restricted visitors from some countries with high cases of cornavirus, including China, France, Germany, Iran,...

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