This report provides an analysis of the COVID-19 on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, and provides information on the impact, recommendations and current actions. The report calls for particular attention to be considered towards sectors which have been adversely affected, and highlights key recommendations for SADC Member States and other stakeholders to be implemented in accordance with national COVID-19 response plans.
BULLETIN 2-SADC Response to COVID19 ENGLISH.pdf
- In terms of Public Health, Governments need to strengthen the implementation of all necessary public health measures including; contact tracing, isolation and treatment of COVID-19 and enforcement of hygiene practices including hand washing and cough etiquette.
- There is need to expand the testing capacity in terms of numbers and geographical coverage by working in partnership with specialized agencies like the World Health Organisation (WHO), Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and biotechnology companies and to conduct an assessment of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed capacity in order to prepare for an eventual overload of severe cases of COVID-19 that will require ICU care.
- Member States need to train adequate numbers of surveillance personnel and provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to field staff.
- Member States need to pay special attention to the rising cases of domestic violence and gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic by, among others, ensuring that women and girls are protected from all forms of abuse. Further, Member States need to incorporate gender perspectives in all responses to COVID-19 to ensure that actions during, and after the COVID-19 crisis aim to build more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies.
- For the business sector, Member States need to put in place stimulus packages to assist in reviving businesses in the post COVID-19 recovery phase and, where these already exist, ensure progressive implementation of the measures.
- On food and nutrition security, Member States need to strengthen mechanisms that mitigate the impact of COVID-19 from disrupting the food supply chains and associated livelihoods, by minimizing disruption to farming operations, enabling access to production inputs, critical emergency veterinary drugs as well as produce markets by farming households.
- Member States should partner with private sector, foundations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and individuals to ensure that quality education and learning continue during the COVID-19 period, through the use of technology and other media.
- Member States should put in place measures to protect law enforcement and military personnel from the risk of being infected by the virus while undertaking their missions.
- Member States need to enhance the implementation of the SADC Regional Guidelines on Harmonization and Facilitation of movement of essential goods and services across borders to ensure sustained movement of essential supplies during the COVID 19 pandemic.
- SADC Member States need to consider ratifying the African Medicine Agency (AMA) Treaty adopted by the African Union Heads of State and Government in February 2019 and signed on the 29th October 2019 which is aimed at helping the African continent to have an overarching agency for medicine regulation and control.
- Member States need to prioritize and scale up humanitarian assistance programmes to cover the households that are likely to be affected by the COVID-19 measures such as those in informal businesses and temporary jobs.
- Member States need to intensify concerted economic diversification efforts as well as faster rollout of regional industrialization programmes to boost industry and cushion economies against the adverse effects of the decline in global economic growth.
SADC REGIONAL COORDINATED RESPONSE ACTIONS
- Following the adoption of the SADC Guidelines on Harmonization and Facilitation of Movement of Essential goods and services across borders during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Member States are using the guidelines and aligning them with national laws and procedures. In addition, other stakeholders such as SADC Business Council, Private Sector Transport Operators and Corridor Management Institutions, among others, are aligning the regional guidelines with their own internal procedures.
- The Regional Transport Transit Facilitation Cell (RTTFC) has finalised its short-term action plan, and co-opted the World Food Programme on the Cell to address the humanitarian dimensions of the pandemic. So far, the Cell has been providing support and guidance to Member States, Operators and other stakeholders in addressing trade and transport facilitation challenges which arose from the implementation on national COVID19 measures by Member States.
- SADC and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have put together an Action Plan on ensuring continuity of learning in the context of COVID-19. SADC Secretariat-UNESCO partnership will focus on making distance learning possible for all learners at all levels; create awareness on the importance of health and hygiene, and on COVID-19 prevention through age-appropriate information about coronavirus and other infectious disease for teachers and learners as well as support teachers and teacher educators through access and capacity building to use relevant technologies to facilitate and support distance learning, among other interventions.
- The SADC Secretariat continues to engage with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to mobilise resources for acquiring essential medicines, medical supplies and medical equipment, especially testing kits, personal Protective, Equipment and ventilators.
- The SADC Secretariat is in the process of collecting information from Member States on national pharmaceutical manufacturers to assist in developing the regional database of pharmaceutical manufacturers in the SADC region.
- The SADC Secretariat is in the process of compiling a consolidated list of Member States needs in relation to essential medicines, medical supplies and equipment to effectively respond to COVID-19.
BULLETIN 2-SADC Response to COVID19 ENGLISH.pdf