LONDON (The Southern African Times) – Epidemics have on occasion been unequivocal in molding South Africa’s history at both the general population and private level. Either as makers of new situations or quickening agents of existing cycles and patterns, their noteworthiness is evident to the individuals who perceive the significance of epidemics in the creation of South Africa’s past.
Since the outbreak began in March, after almost 4 months of lockdown, relaxed restrictions came into effect. With the steepest decline recorded by any major economy during the pandemic, South Africa began its efforts to revive itself.
For the last 3 months, citizens in most of the developing nations including South Africa have been watching with growing concerns but also with a degree of optimism that they may be able to avoid the worst of the coronavirus.
As a whole the continent has been fortunate enough to have not witnessed the kind of peak which was predicted. Now scientists are trying to configure the cause behind the so-called success of the African continent against the pandemic.
Regardless of the success in terms of number, there has been a lot of damage whether in terms of deaths or terms of huge economical loss and a second wave can have the potential of converting the “success” into a “failure” easily, the reason being a healthcare system that is not just fighting with Covid-19 but with several other epidemics, HIV being the most prevalent continuously for a long time with just an average of 2doctors per 10,000 population which in itself is alarming, a second wave could turn out to be a nightmare.
With a large population of daily wage workers who are struggling to feed themselves and their families as well as limited economic growth, relaxation and easing of lockdown are inevitable.
A shrinking economy and recession are the direct effects of the pandemic. But the indirect effects such as a rise in deaths due to HIV, the rise in transmission of malaria, and TB are yet to be confronted. The assessment and preparedness of the government for the indirect effects will also decide the pace of revival of the thrashed economy for South Africa.
Africa, an assortment of 54 autonomous states with the various populace and monetary boundaries, requires a separated look. Between the two apparently unachievable polarities—herd immunity and annihilation—it appears to be likely that media, civil society, government and society at large should acknowledge living with the infection(COVID-19), as we have learned with many epidemics previously.
Aman Lather Heads The Southern African Times Health Research Team. He is a Pharmaceutical Analyst currently pursuing competencies in Biomedical Science.