COVID-19 has impacted our world in ways that were unimaginable this time last year. In less than twelve months, we have gone from the official naming of the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID 19) by WHO on 11 February 2020 to a full-blown global pandemic with nearly 100 thousand deaths due to coronavirus in Africa by the one year mark.
When the African Alliance developed her COVID-19 programme, we expressed concerns that South Africa – a country rife with concurrent epidemics of tuberculosis, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and an epidemic of systemic inequality and violent poverty – would be at heightened risk of COVID-19. Unfortunately, our concerns proved well-founded, with South Africa – despite implementing one of the world’s strictest lockdowns – becoming the hardest-hit country in Africa, with the highest number of confirmed cases and the worst death toll on the continent. South Africa faces the highest number of recorded casualties accounting for nearly half of the total with Egypt the second and Morocco the third most affected nation on the continent. By the same date, Africa recorded more than 3.64 million cases of COVID-19.