"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075
Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 5 2020

Title

PUTTING OUT THE SMALL FLAMES: SOUTH AFRICA’S APPROACH TO COMBATING COVID-19

DOI

10.31857/S032150750009552-9

Аuthor

Boris M. GORELIK
PhD (History), Independent Researcher ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Abstract:

   Although the COVID-19 pandemic started only recently, and the epidemiological situation in Africa and worldwide changes rapidly and sometimes unexpectedly, a preliminary analysis of the South African experience in handling the outbreak can be illuminating. Within the two months since the first confirmed case was reported in South Africa, the government took comprehensive measures to combat the new coronavirus. These measures displayed patterns and attitudes that will probably persist and determine the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

    ‘Putting out the small flames to avoid a raging fire’ has been the main principle of the government’s strategy. The anticipatory action includes community screening and testing, using some of the experience that South African health professionals acquired in containing the HIV/AIDS pandemic. By minimising or preventing community transmission in high-risk areas they have succeeded in maintaining a comparatively low infection rate.

   South African policymakers have displayed flexibility in response to the demands of the population and the business community. The full lockdown has been replaced with the so-called ‘shielding’ approach, protecting the most vulnerable residents while allowing the rest of the people to engage in their normal activities, with mandatory precautions.   

   The government has also shown its resolve to salvage the South African economy by reallocating a large part of the budget and securing loans from international financial institutions, such as the New Development Bank (BRICS), for a stimulus package that amounts to 10% of the country’s GDP. 

Keywords: South Africa, coronavirus, pandemic, COVID-19, Africa
Pages 58-62

 Full Article