Challenges of Social Distancing and Self-Isolation during COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa: A Critical Review
12 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2020
Date Written: November 30, 2020
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges in the African continent leading to the imposition of national lockdowns, disruption of business activities and closure of educational sectors except entities offering essential services. While policymakers and scientists search for COVID-19 vaccine, World Health Organization (WHO) recommends social distancing, face masking and self-isolation to alleviate the catastrophic impact and spread of the pandemic. To avoid the further decline of economies, policymakers are considering reopening and thoroughly observe COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures. However, these measures face challenges as African countries reopen which are not yet explored. Therefore, this paper aimed at providing a critical review of the challenges of social distancing and self-isolation of workers and families during COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. The study revealed that Social distancing and self-isolation remain paramount to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Africa. However, these measures face tremendous challenges due to poor sanitation, informal settlements, misdistribution of COVID-19 relief aid, poverty and food insecurity, political and social unrest, religion and cultural activities, extended households and weak health systems among others. Therefore, as countries re-open, there is a need for a multi-sectoral and regional approach to trace COVID-19 health history of individuals and also inclusive participation of vulnerable households and provision of relief aid and better sanitation to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
Keywords: COVID-19, Social distancing, Self-isolation
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation