COVID-19 & Health Systems Impact

May 6, 2020

The current Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has created a wave of shock across the world and a debacle on all sectors, with health care, travel retail, informal sector, aviation, trade & tourism, transport and entertainment being majorly affected.

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. [1]. A person infected with COVID-19 may show signs & symptoms within 14 days of contracting the disease. These include fever, dry cough, difficulty in breathing, tiredness and sore throat. The virus stemmed from Wuhan, China with early cases reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in December 2019 and the outbreak declared a Public Health Emergency Of International Concern on 30thJanuary 2020 [2]. As spread spilled off to the rest of the World, the World Health Organization on the 11th March 2020 declared this a pandemic and a global crisis of our time [3].

According to WHO situation report as of May 6th 2020, there are currently 3,557,235 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 245,150 deaths resulting. The African continent so far has registered 20,385 confirmed cases, 11,375 recoveries and 1,193 deaths [4].

In an urgent response to this global pandemic, different governments have put in place different measures to prevent transmission. In some countries, closing crowded areas like schools & churches, banning public transport or imposing a curfew, seem to bear results. On the other end of the spectrum, these same measures may inflict additional hardship on the preexisting dwindling sectors of the economy.