EDITORIAL: That the wave of infections and deaths is growing and will soon break over us is inevitable. There are no silver bullets that can make it all go away, certainly no quick fixes to hope for from a largely incapacitated state and a public healthcare system that was already in crisis prior to the pandemic.
When sangoma Gcinani Bango tested positive for COVID-19, he thought he was “counting his last days”. Now, after his discharge from hospital, Bango tells Siyabonga Kamnqa about his fears before contracting the disease and the hope he now has for educating people on preventing transmission of the virus.
This is issue 6 of COVID-19 Report. We point you to the latest quality science on the pandemic. Are schools safe? Hydroxychloroquine does not prevent COVID-19 and much more can be found in this issue.
South Africa moved to level three of its COVID-19 lockdown this week meaning, significantly relaxed lockdown regulations. In many townships in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, residents have mixed views on life under lockdown. Luvuyo Mehlwana visited some townships and spoke to residents.
We were told the planned release date for an occupational health policy to protect healthcare workers was World tuberculosis Day, 24 March 2017. Three World TB Days later and with a new epidemic claiming the lives of healthcare workers we are still waiting for the policy, writes Dr Arne von Delft.
Reports of drug shortages and stock-outs across South Africa have the Department of Health in a race against the clock to ensure a supply of essential medicines. With manufacturing operations around the world still facing issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is battling to meet the demand for contraceptives, tuberculosis medicines and psychiatric medicines.
To single out a disease through specific laws or existing prosecution mechanisms places an unreasonable burden on the criminal justice system to address people’s behaviour. Our experience with HIV points to a better approach, argues Mbalenhle Baduza.
By last week 1 010 public sector healthcare workers in the Western Cape had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Of these six had passed away of COVID-19. Anncha Kepkey, a nurse at Tygerberg Hospital, is among those who died. Biénne Huisman spoke to her husband about who Anncha was and what happened in the last days of her life.
The substantial relaxation of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown measures from today was probably both inevitable and the right decision. But with ICU capacity in the Western Cape already stretched, and infections in the province rising rapidly, one or two measures may need to be reconsidered, argues Marcus Low.
On Sunday 24 May President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that from 1 June South Africa will move to level three of its national lockdown. Spotlight answers 14 questions relating to this new phase of the lockdown.
It seems HIV and TB are falling by the wayside in the drive to stop the spread of COVID-19. Where we can we must minimise the harm to the HIV and TB response, and we need to see the opportunity to address all three diseases together, writes Erica Penfold.