Nina van der Mark

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Dakar after the Interior Ministry announced compulsory wearing of masks in public and private services, shops and transport, under penalty of sanctions. Photo by SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images.

African policymakers face a dilemma when it comes to COVID-19. The first hope is to prevent the virus from gaining a foothold at all, and many African states have significant experience of managing infectious disease outbreaks. The establishment of the Africa Centre for Disease Control highlights the hugely increased focus on public health in recent years.

But capacities to track, test and isolate vary wildly, notably between neighbours with porous and poorly controlled borders and, in most cases, sustained national-level disease control is difficult. Initial clusters of COVID-19 cases are already established in many places, but a lack of testing capacity makes it hard to know the full extent of transmission.…  Seguir leyendo »