Leadership and early strategic response to the SARS-CoV- 2 pandemic at a COVID-19 designated hospital in South Africa

Parker, A. ; Karamchand, S. ; Schrueder, N. ; Lahri, S. ; Rabie, H. ; Aucamp, A. ; Abrahams, R. ; Ciapparelli, P. ; Erasmus, D. S. ; Cotton, M. F. ; Lalla, U. ; Leisegang, Rory ; Meintjes, J. ; Mistry, R. ; Moosa, M. R. ; Mowlana, A. ; Koegelenberg, C. F. N. ; Prozesky, H. ; Smith, W. ; Van Schalkwyk, M. ; Taljaard, J. J. (2020-04-23)

CITATION: Parker, A. et al. 2020. Leadership and early strategic response to the SARS-CoV- 2 pandemic at a COVID-19 designated hospital in South Africa. South African Medical Journal, 110(6), doi:10.7196/SAMJ.2020v110i6.14809.

The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za

Article

While many countries are preparing to face the COVID-19 pandemic, the reported cases in Africa remain low. With a high burden of both communicable and non-communicable disease and a resource-constrained public healthcare system, sub-Saharan Africa is preparing for the coming crisis as best it can. We describe our early response as a designated COVID-19 provincial hospital in Cape Town, South Africa (SA).While the first cases reported were related to international travel, at the time of writing there was evidence of early community spread. The SA government announced a countrywide lockdown from midnight 26 March 2020 to midnight 30 April 2020 to stem the pandemic and save lives. However, many questions remain on how the COVID-19 threat will unfold in SA, given the significant informal sector overcrowding and poverty in our communities. There is no doubt that leadership and teamwork at all levels is critical in influencing outcomes.

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