Celebrating Africa Day while South Africa readies to move into Lockdown Level 3
In amidst the turmoil to find the capacity and innovation to deal with the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic and subsequent national lockdown in South Africa, emergency services are facing the ‘unknown’ and invisible threat of contracting the virus and, worst case scenario, taking it home to their families. PPE, hygiene and decontamination has become the order of the day to prevent the spread of the virus, now on everyone’s agenda and the mental health and economic impact it will have on not only first responders and healthcare professionals around the world but also the public. While South Africa is preparing to enter the Level 3 Lockdown period, first responders, frontline staff and healthcare professionals are readying themselves for the increase in the spread of the virus due to the increase in movement of the public. It is inspirational to see the innovative methods and systems that are born during these unprecedented times. We need strong leadership and mentoring in the service now more than ever. Creating an environment for building a strong character and a formidable culture of ethics, discipline and morals, partnered with the wisdom of compassion. BE THAT LEADER/MENTOR!
On 25 May 2020 we celebrated Africa Day, which marked 57 years since the leaders of 32 independent African nations met in Addis Ababa to establish the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the African Union. President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement, “We mark Africa Day this year just over three months since the first case of coronavirus on the continent was confirmed. This pandemic has been a stark reminder that regardless of whether we are born into wealth or indigence, we are all mortal and can succumb to disease. As countries around the world battle to turn the tide against the pandemic, Africa has taken firm control of its destiny, by developing a clear strategy and raising financial resources from its member states.”
“African countries have been able to use their experience in managing outbreaks of malaria, cholera, HIV, TB and haemorrhagic viruses like Ebola and Lassa. Our understanding of communicable diseases and how to manage them has put us in good stead when it comes to coronavirus. The African Union developed a comprehensive Joint Continental Strategy to guide cooperation between member states and set up a COVID-19 Response Fund. A number of countries, including South Africa, have rolled out massive food relief and social assistance measures to support the vulnerable during this time,” said President Ramaphosa.
He added, “Although there have been severe shortcomings and constraints, such as the shortage of personal protective equipment, testing kits and ventilators, there have also been stories of excellence and intercontinental collaboration. One such example is the work of the African Centres for Disease Control (ACDC) and prevention, a world-class institution with capabilities for disease surveillance and intelligence and health emergency preparedness and response.”
“African countries have scaled up their respective capacities for screening, testing and isolating. In April, the AU and the ACDC launched the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing to strengthen testing capacity in vulnerable countries, with the aim of testing 10 million people over the next six months. Through this partnership warehousing and distribution hubs are being set up across the continent to distribute medical supplies. The aim is to pool the procurement of diagnostics and other medical commodities. The deployment of community health workers to do screening, testing, contact tracing and case management is happening in many African countries and draws heavily on our experience with HIV and TB,” added the President.
“African nations have also joined the race to produce test kits, with Senegal in an advanced stage of developing a low-cost testing kit.At lease 25 African countries have registered clinical trials for possible COVID-19 treatments, including for the BCG vaccine, hydroxychloroquine, antiretrovirals and Remdesivir and as part of the global Solidarity clinical trials.”
COVID-19 Resources page
The FRI COVID-19 Resources page was created as a one-stop-shop for first responders, emergency services and chiefs in order to provide all available information on a single platform and save you the time of searching for documents and links.
New downloads in the folder this week:
CoGTA Level 3 Regulations 28 May
Statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on South Africa's response to the COVID-19 pandemic (Level 3) 24 May 2020
Amended Health Directions, 25 May 2020
Guidelines for Mandatory Code of Practice on Mitigation and Management of Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak, 18 May 2020
National Institute of Occupational Health: www.nioh.ac.za
National Health Laboratory Service: www.nhls.ac.za
Quote of the week
“It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” ~ William James
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