Thanks all for your thoughts and encouragement. I'm yet to see an African data source that provides a good breakdown of COVID-19 cases to guide personal, community, state or global decision making. In this piece, there's also a request to know which entity is modeling or projecting the trend that COVID-19 may take in Africa.
The official COVID-19 Web site for a particular country may have an entry pertaining to "general surveillance," but no idea of the place surveilled, the sample size and other demographics of the area, period of surveillance, proportion of negative cases compare to positive cases, etc. Johns Hopkins University has become a global resource to many on tracking the virus, including Africa: <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-4a11d568-2716-41cf-a15e-7d15079548bc> We have been told that majority of the initial cases in Africa were imports, but since then, what's the degree of community spread?
Are the young and old, men and women, single family homes and compound houses (even slums), ... affected equally? Let's ask of our media people to have a good idea what to expect from authorities when they participate in and report on "daily COVID-19 updates," keeping in mind Lord Kelvin's message, that, “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarely, in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science.” <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Thomson,_1st_Baron_Kelvin#Age_of_the_Earth:_geology_and_theology>
Africa CDC has done a lot in preparing the countries on their response mechanisms. The organization should provide a template for all African states to report on COVID-19 cases and how they are being addressed so that we may have uniformity and clarity of data from the various authorities. As mentioned in a previous piece, there should be a time-certain release of such data each day. Oh, how I began to quietly rejoice that my country may have peaked the other day, while knocking on wood though, because for two days the case number remained the same, until late that night, before retiring to bed when I checked the news, only to discover a dumping of a huge number of new cases. If the numbers were in real time, we wouldn't question when they come up, but since some central authority and not the testing labs release these figures, then we must ask for consistency in time of their release.
Equally important, who is modeling or projecting the possible trend of COVID-19 in Africa? As usual, people have thrown figures about, even without casual reference to the model they applied in reaching those numbers! In the modeling, what is the region's capacity to cope with the projected numbers - from basic protective items like face masks through protective gear for workers in the health sector to more sophisticated devices that may be required for treating critical cases? Given the existing or planned capacity, how many Africans are expected to die, get healed or not directly affected? When can we reach the peak, plateau and start the downward trend?
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