What South Africa can teach other African countries gearing up for a spike in infections.
South Africa is conducting extensive testing and investigations to curb the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) after it was detected in the country's Eastern Cape province, the third known outbreak this year, government said on Friday. African swine fever is harmless to humans but it is highly contagious and deadly in pigs, causing diarrhoea, vomiting, coughing, haemorrhages on the skin and severe mental distress. The Agricultural ministry said it was conducting extensive epidemiological investigations and visiting areas to establish the extent of the outbreak.
A deadly virus was ravaging South Africa when Belgian doctor Eric Goemaere first set foot in Cape Town's sprawling Khayelitsha township on a chilly southern hemisphere winter of 1999. "There was a traffic jam every day at the cemetary," Goemaere recalled. Two decades later, Goemaere and his colleagues at Doctors Without Borders (MSF) found themselves on the frontline of another epidemic.
South Africa says it has a backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests for the coronavirus, a striking example of the painful shortage of testing kits and reagents across Africa as cases steadily rise. "This challenge is caused by the limited availability of test kits globally," the health ministry said in a statement overnight putting the backlog at 96,480 as of Monday. Priority is given to processing tests from patients admitted to hospitals and health workers, it said.
The startup - with offices in New York, Lagos, and South Africa - was co-founded in 2018 by Sierra Leonean Cordel Robbin-Coker, American Lucy Parry, and Zimbabwean software engineer Tinotenda Mundangepfupfu. "I convinced her to avoid going to business school and instead come to South Africa to Cape Town," Robbin-Coker told TechCrunch on a call. "We launched with the idea that we wanted to bring the gaming industry...to the African continent."