South Africa can flatten the curve, without extending the nationwide lockdown, the World Health Organization (WHO) told ENCA.
Spokesperson, Dr Margaret Harris, says people must, however, maintain social distancing, keep hands clean and identify cases quickly.
“Africa has an advantage and understands the importance of surveillance. While the rest of the world was taken by surprise, My feeling is Africa is better placed in many ways”.
“It is still relatively early, There is still time to flatten to curve”.
Watch the interview below:
The number of coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, infections rose to 1,845 in South Africa, with 18 people confirmed to have died from the virus, health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday.
The increase of 96 infections is the largest single-day jump in cases in over a week.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is waiting for a “scientific assessment”, due this week, on the effect of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown before deciding whether it should be extended.
In an interview with News24, Ramaphosa said:
“We are still doing an assessment about the effectiveness of the lockdown. In terms of compliance, we are finding that many of our people throughout the country are abiding by the lockdown, and its regulations. There are pockets, here and there, of people who are still getting on with their lives as though there is no coronavirus.
“We will be able to make a proper, if you like, scientific assessment, in a few days’ time, to see how well this lockdown is serving the people of our country.
The lockdown is due to expire on 16 April.
South Africa, together with the rest of the African continent, has handled the COVID-19 pandemic well, given the circumstances that the world finds itself under.
“I think we’ve handled it well. Much more proactively than other countries. I think Africa as a whole, what has been apparent is a significant amount of coordination among African countries early on,” said Chief Executive of the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) Elizabeth Sidiropoulos.
Speaking to SAnews, Sidiropoulos said the African continent has taken lessons learnt from other countries in dealing with the pandemic that has grappled the world.
“I think both South Africa and Africa have taken the lessons learnt from other countries and responded with seriousness…which has not been the case in a number of other countries,” she said.