Lockdown measures in response to COVID-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa: A rapid study of nine countries
Lockdown measures have been introduced worldwide to contain the transmission of COVID-19. This paper defines the term lockdown and describes the design, timing and implementation of lockdown in nine countries in Sub Saharan Africa: Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It also discusses the manner in which lockdown is enforced, the need to mitigate the harms of lockdown, and the association between lockdown and the reported number of COVID-19
... number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. While there are some commonalities in the implementation of lockdown, a more notable finding is the variation in the design, timing and implementation of lockdown measures across the nine countries. We found that the number of reported cases is heavily dependent on the number of tests done, and that testing rates ranged from 9 to 21,261 per million population. The reported number of COVID-19 deaths per million population also varies, but is generally low when compared to countries in Europe and North America. While lockdown measures may have helped inhibit some community transmission, the pattern and nature of the epidemic remains unclear. Of concern are signs of lockdown harming health by affecting the functioning of the health system and causing social and economic harms. This paper highlights the need for inter-sectoral and trans-disciplinary research capable of providing a rigorous and holistic assessment of the harms and benefits of lockdown.