Johannesburg – The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that lockdowns that are being imposed in many African countries would help to slow down the spread of the coronavirus; but they have to take into account the limitations of communal living and the impact on informal traders.
WHO regional director for Africa Dr Matshediso Moeti said the economic impact of lockdowns was a great concern, and required governments to put mitigation measures in place.
“Lockdowns must be done in the context of every country. Physical distancing is a very important component of controlling this virus, and where it is being applied in Africa, there needs to be very careful, thoughtful analysis and mitigation measures to ensure these measures are feasible for the people, so that people who are vulnerable do not suffer unduly.”
Moeti said the other area of concern is the economic impact on informal traders. “Some of the people are working as market stall holders and need to earn some money every day to be able to put food on the table, these are some of the concerns.”
She added that it is also important for countries to keep borders open for trade, food and humanitarian assistance.