Watch: WHO praises South Africa for ‘incredible’ COVID-19 response
The WHO have said that South Africa's efforts to stem the spread of the virus has been among some of the best in the world.
Executive Director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme, Michael Ryan, has held South Africa’s COVID-19 response among the best in the world.
Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday 23 April as he provided an update on the global response to the virus, Ryan said that South Africa’s approach to stemming its spread was “incredible”.
Watch: WHO Health Emergencies Programme director praises SA’s response:
Leading the way’
Ryan said that many African countries were performing far better in the fight against the virus than was initially expected, with infection rates and death counts remaining relatively low and well-managed.
“It is interesting the way in which South Africa is bringing the disease under control and how African countries are in many ways showing the way,” he said.
“The strategy in South Africa was based on strategy, primary prevention, lockdown and enhanced surveillance. [They have] 67 mobile lab units around the country, 28 000 community health workers trained in disease detection and over 120 000 tests completed with a 2.7% positivity rate, which is incredible, that much testing for that return.”
“We’re seeing [high] performance levels there again and we congratulate the government and institutions involved there,” he said.
Many have heaped praise on President Cyril Ramaphosa for the manner in which he has gone about stemming the spread of the virus, having imposed a nationwide lockdown well in advance of the infection rate’s spike.
Ramaphosa has maintained that the extreme measures he put in place were necessary to ensure that thousands, if not millions of lives are saved.
“Even as we find ourselves at a moment of great peril, even as great sacrifices are demanded, as we dare not allow our vigilance to waver, we look to a better future,” he said at his last address to the nation on Tuesday 21 April.
“I have faith in the strength of South Africans, who proved throughout history that they can rise to the challenge. We shall recover… we shall overcome and prosper.”