Millions of Africans are already staring hunger in the face after weeks of lockdown as countries across the continent struggle to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, a research by the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention seen by APA on Wednesday suggests.Millions of families in Africa live hand-to-mouth existence and the current restrictions to the movements of breadwinners has exposed many to food insecurity.
The ACDC says two-thirds of respondents in its survey of 20 countries on the continent warned they would be hungry or “food poor” through the course of the lockdowns while over 50 percent of those interviewed say they would be bereft of money..
By this report dubbed “Using Data to Find a Balance” the centre said it hopes that details of the survey will help inform the best strategies by African governments on how to deal with the aftermaths of Covid-19 and avoid possible social unrest.
Between March and April the ACDC ran a comprehensive survey in 28 African cities to gauge the impact of the restrictions on people lives and social reactions to them.
It said while there were gaps in government responses over the pandemic, there has been decent public support for the restrictions which saw offices, markets, car parks and whole buisness districts shut down for weeks as in the case of the continent’s biggest economy, South Africa.
The results of the research were released as successive African countries begin easing their lockdowns, introduced last month to contain the spread of the coronavirus on the continent which is just shy of 50,000 cases.
The number of deaths from the virus on the continent stands at some 2,000.
Despite Africa’s relatively low infection and death counts from the disease, the ACDC report calls on governments on the continent reinforce their health sectors with the capacity “to test, trace, isolate, and treat cases”.