Saturday, April 11, 2020

Analysis | South Africa needs to end the blockade: Here is a plan to replace it

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Analysis | South Africa needs to end the blockade: Here is a plan to replace it

South Africa needs to end the blockade
Public debate about strategies to tackle COVID-19 often uses economic and health-related ideas as non-profit trading. In fact, economic policy has health consequences. And the economic consequences of health policy. Both should be viewed as part of an integrated whole.

In the case of South Africa, the country is currently facing three bilateral problems. These are the health risks of COVID-19 pandemic diseases, the economic and health implications of the blockade and the many complex economic problems that are not directly linked to the current pandemic disease. These include high unemployment, low economic growth and declining per capita income.

A possible actionable response to COVID-19 will focus on all three aspects of the concert. This is especially important because the country plans to take the next step in its response after the closure. Focusing solely on health challenges and not paying attention to economic problems will result in significant economic costs and also worsening health problems.

Our view is that prolonged blockade does not necessarily have the effect of getting rid of the virus country, but it will have unacceptably high health and economic consequences.


The initial block was sensible and reduced the risk of SARS-CoV-2 spreading to the community.

But the exact number of cases of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 disease) is difficult to pinpoint. A limited number of tests have been conducted and the whole group has been delayed in detecting suspected cases of infection.

The evidence available on the CoVID-19 epidemic suggests that any early prevention of this disease through blockade will be of little use. In addition, the aggressive community-wide screening of SARS Kovi2 contagious cases will result in the absence of isolated screening cases, and in cases where their close contact is interrupted for at least 14 days.

In addition, the simultaneous destruction of both demand and the supply of the economy under widespread blockade can permanently hurt South Africa.

It will have unintended long-term health and financial losses. For example, prolonged interruptions may result in poor access to other health services, such as vaccinations for children.

The economic effects of the blockade are also serious.

Early forecasts suggest a major economic hurdle in the current blockade, costing the economy a daily R13 billion. Initial estimates from the Reserve Bank of South Africa show that South Africa could lose 370,000 jobs by 2020. Private banking analysts estimate (based on the initial 21-day blockade) a GDP decline of 7% over 2020, leading to a fiscal deficit. 12% of GDP (6.8% forecast in the 2020 budget) and the debt-to-GDP ratio is more than 81% in 2021. This means that public finances, which are already limited, will be limited.

Towards an end-to-end strategy
Globally, the focus is on short- and medium-term risk-based healthcare and economic strategies through large scale barriers to early control. We offer some out-of-date restrictions on economic and health policy in South Africa.

In this, we go beyond the following assumptions.

Unless a vaccine is introduced (not yet produced) in South Africa or enough natural immunity is obtained in the population, SARS-Co-2 will not be staged. Therefore, it is important to establish and maintain a sustainable mitigation strategy for COVID-19 for the remainder of 2020, or until a vaccine is available (a promising timeframe of 18-24 months).
Widespread blockade due to the harmful effects of COVID-19 is not a viable long-term prevention strategy, including long-term effects on society, public health and the economy.
Removal of blockade without proper sanitary and economic measures will result in more than COVID-19 fatalities, leading to further economic problems.
South Africa's current economic and health strategy must go beyond the current blockade to ensure better health care and remain economically sustainable. We argue that the country needs to change its risk-free strategy, which provides effective protection for health and allows some economic activity to resume.

Researchers from both Germany and the Indian state of Kerala have supported this view.

As a result, the following objectives should be central to any policy.

First, reduce the rapid spread of the virus, while allowing the population's natural immunity to grow slowly.
Second, strengthen the health care system to ensure maximum treatment for patients with COVID-19 and other serious diseases.
Third, protecting people from quotient 19 at high risk of serious illness;
Fourth, make economic activities possible by taking steps to manage the health risks associated with these activities.

Economic and health strategies.
At the highest level, three comprehensive intervention strategies are available for South Africa (summarized in the table below), consistent with a recent article by Australian health educator James Troyer, Ben Muras and Emma McBride. We believe there are only three options for South Africa. And the details of its implementation are important.
The health strategy is based on an extended general blockade that is economically unstable. It is also harmful to the public. Instead, we need unified health and economic strategy that allows for some economic activity while preventing the spread of the virus. It requires that a number of sanitary and economic measures be implemented in a cohesive manner.

First, in order to reduce the rate of infection, the country should have the ability to conduct large-scale virus tests and effective communication before the end of April 2020. It should also have a holistic approach to community distance. Relying solely on the detection of symptomatic individuals will not effectively reduce the rate of infection, as high viral loads of SARS-Co-2 occur in pre-symptomatic and potentially diseased individuals in the upper airway.

To be successful, the scale of the tests must be at least equal to that of South Korea (17,332 tests in South Africa daily, 1 out of 150 people diagnosed). At most, this should be the equivalent of performing in Germany (36,399 tests per day in South Africa).

As a result of test response times, the victims should be identified no later than 12 to 24 hours. Immediately after that, isolation and contact should be detected. The quarantine isolate must be kept for at least 14 days, at home, if applicable, or in designated isolation and quarantine facilities.

The annual cost of testing 17,000 a day is approximately R5 billion. It may cost an additional R4 billion annually for contact detection and quarantine. These costs are in line with the typical blockade's daily economic cost (R13 billion).

Second, economic activities should be allowed in the manner intended to prevent the spread of the virus. Within the limits of the above-mentioned health strategy, a risk-based economic strategy is needed that balances economic and health deterioration.

Decisions about the diversification of the economy should be made according to the criteria suggested in a recent article by German researchers. This includes, for example, opening the first low-risk sector (highly automated factories) and a less vulnerable population (childcare facilities). It may also include areas in which infection rates are low and quotidian. Indeed. , This decision should be based on careful consideration of factors such as the composition and structure of households in South Africa and public transport.

To do this, the country will need fine data about the extent and location of any virus-spreading community. Such data will be extensively researched and reproduced through accurate information in accordance with the safety and health protocols of certain sectors of the economy.

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Analysis | South Africa needs to end the blockade: Here is a plan to replace it
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