//Coronavirus: SA identified as ‘one of the most vulnerable countries’

Coronavirus: SA identified as ‘one of the most vulnerable countries’

A combined research paper published by a leading team of European and American scientists has analysed the countries most at rist of coronavirus across Africa. Sadly, South Africa ranks pretty highly.

The paper – published by Lancet – assesses each country’s vulnerability based on State Party Self-Assessment Annual Reporting, otherwise known as a “SPAR” indicator. This takes into account things like food safety, laboratory quality and health emergency protocols in any given nation.

How likely is South Africa to get a coronavirus case?

Despite having some low-risk factors to its name, Mzansi is officially the third-most vulnerable country in Africa when it comes to contracting the coronavirus. Algeria is the second-highest, with Egypt topping the charts. Not only has there already been a confirmed case of the outbreak in the north African state, but Cairo’s International Airport has the highest volume of Chinese travellers on the whole continent:

“Egypt, Algeria, and South Africa were the countries at highest importation risk from China, with moderate to high SPAR capacity scores. Algeria, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Nigeria were part of the 13 top priority countries identified by WHO on the basis of their direct links and volume of travel to China.”
“Egypt, which we estimated to be at highest risk, was not part of that list, although Cairo was identified as the African airport with the highest passenger volume from the affected areas. In terms of the country’s functional capacity, SA had the biggest score for laboratory capacity, but a low score in risk communication.”

Nothing to report… yet

South Africa has had a few “false alarms” with coronavirus, but after dozens of people were tested for the disease, none have proved conclusive. However, concerns have been raised for at least 85 South Africans who remain near the epicentre of the outbreak in China, but are yet to be flown home.

  • As of Thursday 20 February, no South African has tested positive for coronavirus.