This Bulletin No. 10 of the SADC regional response to COVID-19 provides highlights of the COVID-19 Partners and Supply portal, a platform which was launched by the United Nations (UN) to enable collaboration of stakeholders in the COVID-19 response. The portal features real time tracking to support the planning, implementation and resourcing of country preparedness and response activities. Tools and guides are included in the report to provide Member States with additional resources on the functioning of the portal. The report further provides the continental and regional COVID-19 situation. In this bulletin, we also bring noteworthy updates from the African Union (AU), in relation to COVID-19.
Joint efforts of the WHO and the Africa CDC on the COVID-19 Traditional Medicine Research that it at early stages is featured in the report. Another key aspect of the report is the survey results of an assessment on measures taken by Member States in the Education Sector to address COVID-19. As part of the study results we share best practices and recommendations of the study. The challenges related to border disruptions remain a critical focus of the report. Some of these disruptions have resulted from the continuous delays at border points as well as border closures due to border personnel being infected and transport having to be diverted to other routes
The Tripartite Guidelines on the Movement of Transport during COVID-19, developed by SADC, EAC and COMESA are an important milestone highlighted in the report. These guidelines were approved by the Tripartite Council of Ministers at their Extra-ordinary meeting on 29 July 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on a number of sectors has been extensive and one such sector is the energy sector, not only affecting industry and business but also domestic and household levels, resulting in consumers not having a reliable source of energy during this period which is further aggravated by load shedding in some countries. The report offers key recommendations as follows;
(i) Member States are urged to improve active surveillance, including alert management systems, case investigations and contact tracing as part of strengthening surveillance.
(ii) Member States are urged to scale up the testing of health workers exposed to COVID-19 and develop protocols for health worker infection management.
(iii) Member States are urged to provide high standard PPE, safer working environment etc. for frontline health workers to motivate them for their selfless commitment to their patients.
(iv) Member States are urged to utilise the Africa Medical Supplies Platform for the procurement of essential medical equipment, when it is fully rolled out
(v) Member States are urged to adopted a blended learning approach to address educational inclusion.
(vi) Member States are urged to reinforce Capacity Building Strategies for academic staff and students on distance and online teaching.
(vii) Member States to consider investing in Technological Infrastructure.
(viii) Member States to consider the setting up of an integrated and ready-made parallel system of online learning.
Transport and Trade Facilitation
(ix) Member States are urged to implement the Tripartite Guidelines on the Movement of Transport during COVID19 Pandemic.
(x) Member States are urged to put in place measures to ensure uninterrupted supply of energy for both domestic and commercial purposes.
The full bulletin is attached below;