InFocus Magazine – United Nations responds to COVID-19 in South Africa
At the time of writing this foreword 665,188 South Africans had tested positive for COVID-19, more than 594,229 had recovered, a recovery rate of 89%. However, there were 16,206 deaths as a result of this disease.
Each death has been one death too many. Despite the decrease in the daily positive cases rate, from a high of more than 13,900 to the current rate of a little over 845 today, it is essential to maintain public health messaging and precautions to attempt to prevent a second surge.
The pandemic has not disappeared and as my colleagues in WHO have shared, even if we are fortunate enough to have a vaccine this year, it would take a year to vaccinate only the frst 2 billion people.
Away from the health dimensions of this crisis, what we have witnessed is a period that has perhaps had the single most devastation on the lives and livelihoods of millions of South Africans, exacerbating existing poverty and inequality, and globally threatening to undo decades of progress.