The prognosis: With 1,055 deaths among 21,096 cases, Africa, often dubbed the world's poorest continent, may be the next epicentre, with a report by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) stating that in "the best case scenario", the continent could see 300,000 fatalities from Covid-19 while in "the worst case scenario", the death toll could go as high as 3.3 million, with over 1.22 billion people infected — almost equal to India's population.
The challenges: Africa has an average of 1.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people, compared to say France — among the worst affected countries by Covid-19 — which has 5.98 beds per 1,000 people. For comparison purposes, India has 0.7 hospital beds per 1,000 people. Africa is also dependent on other countries for its medical and pharmaceutical supplies, with 94% imported — the EU, with 52% share and India, with 19% share, being the two leading suppliers. With most countries imposing a limitation or a complete ban on export of medical supplies and pharma products, Africa could be "in a perilous position". The continent also needs test kits as well as personal protective equipment (PE) for its healthcare staff. Another major challenge for the continent is maintaining social distancing, given that 56% of its 600 million urban population lives in slums. Social distancing and lockdowns, which have been imposed by several African countries, may therefore, fail to work — as evident from the riots that broke out in South Africa on Saturday due to food shortages and the army being called out in Lesotho to quell unrest.
The reason I shared this is to give a grim reality that we are facing and still unable to apprehend .In a limited way , I have been continuously doing two things
1)Buying Food Vouchers that are not redeemable for Cash .It can be used for essential items only .If someone is requesting airtime , we are asking our sponsors to directly fill in the recharge ..
The only problem is we are not able to know how long it will be sustainable as all of us are feeling the pinch in the economy .
The number of cases against abuse if the vulnerable and children have increased manifold and there is not much that the government can do ,as for someone to reach a safe home ,they have to travel.out and at the risk of their lives many are not able to do that .
My storm in a teacup chat group has been made admin only for these times and we are reaching out to members and anyone we know to talk and if we are not able to deal ourselves to the recognised person .
I am utilizing this time to myself create some courses and will be launching them soon , perhaps not free, as we need to feed hungry mouths in the townships too .
But as much as we can keep cheap.