A two-week lockdown in 20 African countries could cause at least two-thirds of people to go hungry and lack water, a new report by the Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to COVID-19 found.
There have been 34,610 reported cases of COVID-19 across 52 African nations, according to the World Health Organization’s count, and 1,517 have died.
The latest report, released Tuesday by PERC, found that a third of respondents said they have not received enough information about how to protect themselves against the virus, and 51% said they would run out of money after a 14-day lockdown.
“People who have lost wages can afford less food, and disrupted supply chains may further constrict food supply and boost prices,” the report said. “Closing or limiting access to marketplaces can cause additional hardship, as people may not have resources to buy or store large stocks of food.”
“Governments have had to make difficult decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shelter-in-place measures can prevent infection but may limit access to food and essential services,” Dr. Tom Frieden, president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives and former director of the U.S. CDC, said in a statement.
The report also cautioned that several African countries could see a spike in violence caused by a lack of resources and social measures.
“When people have little trust in government response, and authorities fail to engage relevant stakeholders and community leaders in the design and application of public health and social measures, the daily hardships of enduring a pandemic can spark outbreaks of violence,” the report said, pointing to the 2014 Ebola outbreak.