Lockdown.. right or wrong for Africa

Lockdown has immediate ramifications for individuals who live on a hand-to-mouth basis, and for their networks of dependents. If people cannot eat, they will not obey a lockdown; nor is there any reason, practical or moral, for them to do so.

The biggest public health risk in Africa is not Covid-19, but the consequences of regional and global measures designed to reduce its effect on public health. The cost-benefit analysis of these measures yields a different result in Africa than in Europe, North America and large parts of Asia.

Stefan Swartling Peterson, the chief of health at Unicef, “Covid now really scares us,” he says. “The difference, to me, is that … it can affect the people with power … the people who communicate, rather than the poor people who have always been dying.” Yet, given the apparent international consensus and the need to demonstrate strong leadership, leaders in the region may have little political alternative. Read full article