SADC Regional Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
SADC regional Response to COVID-19: Bulletin No. 3
This report provides the global, continental and regional situation of COVID-19. On the global perspective, the report provides statistics on the global situation where over 2.5 million cases and 187, 705 deaths have been reported as at 25 April, 2020.
At the regional level, the report highlights the situation of COVID-19 in the WHO African Region as well as the SADC region and further provides information on the status of measures that serve as guidance to Member States. The report notes that of the 5,714 cases reported in the Region, South Africa accounts for about 74% of the cases with DRC, Mauritius, Madagascar and Tanzania also recording over 300 cases to date. In addition to instituting measures to restrict movement and contact, Member States are scaling up testing in response to global calls for increased testing noticed in the last few weeks. Partnerships with private sector and non-state actors to support COVID 19 response efforts are being reported in the Region.
The Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has also announced an initiative to scale up testing known as “Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing”. The objective of the initiative is to distribute 1 million testing kits in 4 weeks and 10 million kits in 24 weeks to Member States in the Africa region. In line with this initiative, the report also provides guidance on scaling up testing and the benefits thereof. Other guidance provided are on maintaining essential services during the period of the pandemic, improving hand hygiene and food handling as well as guidance for schools and workplace settings.
The report further provides an update on social and economic issues and impacts that are a result of COVID-19, as well as measures being undertaken to mitigate some of the impacts. Whilst efforts to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 are ongoing, the past week saw a number of countries scaling up social protection packages to vulnerable groups adversely affected by lockdowns as well as easing some of the lockdown restrictions to lessen damage to household livelihoods and national economies.
In the report we also provide an update of progress on the implementation of Council decisions on COVID-2019 including efforts being made by Member States to align existing laws and regulations to the Regional Guidelines on Harmonization and Facilitation of Cross Border Transport Operations across the Region.
The report proposes some recommendations for consideration by Member States in areas of Public Health, Education, Food Security, Gender-Based Violence, Transport Facilitation, Law Enforcement and Military Sector.
SADC Regional Measures
Summary of the 10 coordinated regional actions taken by SADC in response to COVID-19
Disaster Risk Management: Member States have agreed to establish National Emergency Operations Centres to facilitate coordination of logistics and stockpiling for disasters at the national level, and to establish National Emergency Trust Funds and National Resource Mobilization Strategies to facilitate mobilization of resources for national disaster responses.
Suspension of regional face-to-face meetings and instead, utilizing modern technology such as Video conferences, Webinars and Skype Calls until such a time when the situation has been contained.
Re-establishment and expansion of the Technical Committee for Coordinating and Monitoring the Implementation of the SADC Protocol on Health, which has been meeting on a regular basis to advise the region on health and related matters, and other socio-economic matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mobilisation of regional support towards containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, and mitigation of its socio-economic impact on the SADC region. The regional resource mobilisation initiative builds on national initiatives, and is based on gaps identified by individual Member States to respond to the COVID-19 short to long-term needs.
The SADC Pooled Procurement Services for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies is being implemented to provide sustainable availability and access to affordable and effective essential medicine and health commodities, and Member States have been encouraged to utilise this facility for the procurement of the needed supplies for prevention, treatment and control of COVID-19 and any other epidemics.
Adoption of guidelines on pdf Harmonisation and Facilitation of Cross Border Transport Operations across the Region during the COVID-19 (390 KB) . The guidelines are to facilitate and ease the process of transporting essential goods and services within the region during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). To support SADC Member States in mitigating the effects of the coronavirus on education, and in ensuring the continuity of education and learning programmes, the SADC Secretariat has partnered with UNESCO on an initiative known as #LearningNeverStops.
Introduction of SADC Regional Status report on COVID 19, which are produced and shared with Member States on a weekly basis with recommendations for consideration by Member States.
Monitoring and analysing the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 on SADC economies. The SADC Macroeconomic Subcommittee, in coordination with the SADC Secretariat, has been monitoring and analysing the impacts of the COVID-19 on SADC economies, and providing policy recommendations to Member States on a continuous basis. Daily updates on the status of COVID-19 in the region.
Daily updates on COVID-19 in the region are shared on the SADC website on: https://www.sadc.int/issues/covid-19/ to facilitate sharing of information and experiences.