Africa is experiencing adverse health system emergencies and related social and economic impacts spawned by the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This is triggering unprecedented response measures by governments, including enhancing health systems, imposing restrictions, lockdowns, among others. Evidence from previous outbreaks show that the COVID-19 crisis could exert a massive toll on the demographics, social fabric, economic and environmental aspects of life at community, national, regional and global levels. Africa is likely to be hardest hit with a heavy and durable economic toll, which will threaten progress and prospects, widen inequalities between and within countries, and worsen current fragilities.
The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in China in December 2019, but the disease has now spread throughout the world and the number of infected persons increasing exponentially. The World Health Organisations (WHO) has issued guidelines, which Members States of the United Nations and other partners are referring to. Timely updates and platforms with relevant resources are made available to the global citizenry to learn and understand the pandemic. Governments and development partners are using these resources to design appropriate interventions to contain the spread of the disease and reduce loss of life and associated impacts.
The UN Development System (UNDS) in Africa has developed the Africa UN Knowledge Hub on COVID19 as a “One-Stop-Shop” resource for all stakeholders to provide relevant information and resources on the effects of the pandemic to Africa and the subsequent responses by the African governments, the UNDS and the medical research fraternity. The Hub harnesses information and resources from credible sources including WHO, regional UN agencies, Ministries of health of African governments and credible news channels amongst others.