The Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on how the African continent is dealing with the Coronavirus epidemic and the economic consequences registered so far.
The COVID-19 caused mass production and supply chain to stop their activities due to the closure of ports in China causing a “rare twin supply-demand shock” in the global economy.
Should a COVID-19 cluster spread in Africa, it could overwhelm the already struggling health care systems in many African countries.
The spread of the virus is causing investments to drop, and consequently the loss of jobs, and revenue losses of up to 65 billion dollars in oil exports; unexpected increases in healthcare costs of up to 10.6 billion dollars; and other revenue losses that could lead to an unsustainable debt.
The report also provides measures to be adopted in ten key messages that are fundamental for social stability.
1) Acquire and spread information from reliable sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and national governments. This will not prevent fake news but we can stop spreading it
2) Prevention means hygiene: wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for 40 seconds with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
3) Do not stigmatize of discriminate: the whole world is fighting this battle together!
4) Report symptoms immediately. Watch for fever, sore throat and difficulty in breathing.
5) Social distancing: ensure a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) between you and anyone coughing or sneezing and avoid crowded places and travel.
6) The COVID-19 is helping us reduce carbon emissions. Use any innovative tool to keep this up.
7) Older people are at major risk. Minimize physical contact and do not shake hands or kiss when greeting another person.
8) Young people can also contact the virus but result asymptomatic so they should follow all measures scrupulously.
9) Sectors that have been suspended and are at risk post-epidemic, such as education, health and employment will need governments to put measures to revive the economy into effect.
10) Peer support, mental health and empathy are very important at this time. Let us be vigilant and stand together in solidarity.
Ten points for good practices and common sense. Even if Africa the mood is, “Just stay home and everything will be fine”.