Is the lockdown working?

As South Africa and the continent continue to brace for the potentially devastating impact of the pandemic, doctors are struggling to explain what’s going on. The beds are ready, wards have been cleared. non-emergency operations rescheduled, ambulances kitted out. Medical teams have been rehearsing non-stop for weeks and managers have spent long hours in online meetings drawing up, and tweaking their emergency plans.

But so far, and against most predictions, South Africa’s hospitals remain quiet, the anticipated “tsunami” of infections that many experts here have been waiting for has yet to materialise.

“It’s a bit strange. Eerie. No-one is sure what to make of it,” said Dr Evan Shoul, an infectious disease specialist in the main city, Johannesburg.

“We’re a bit perplexed,” said Dr Tom Boyles, another infectious disease doctor at Johannesburg’s Helen Joseph Hospital, one of the biggest public hospitals in the city.

“We’ve been calling it the calm before the storm for about three weeks. We’re getting everything set up here. And it just hasn’t arrived. It’s weird.” Full story here

Confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa