DAVID PILLING: Africa’s Covid-19 response holds lessons for other countries
While far from perfect, it has been characterised by ingenuity, co-ordination and early lockdowns
The Veronica Bucket is a dustbin-sized plastic receptacle with a tap attached and a bowl to collect waste water. As during the Ebola outbreak, the bucket, invented by Veronica Bekoe, a Ghanaian public health official, is appearing outside offices and malls, and in villages and slums all over West Africa. An effective means of enabling people to wash their hands in the absence of running water, it typifies the ingenuity and seriousness of Africa’s efforts against Covid-19.
The continent’s response to coronavirus has been remarkable. On May 1, SA will begin to ease its lockdown, among the most stringent in the world, after signs that early and decisive action has flattened the curve of new infections. Ghana and Kenya, two other countries that imposed a mix of social distancing, travel restrictions, mask-wearing and curfews, are also inching back towards some kind of normality.