COVID-19: Lockdown exit strategies for Africa
In the current context of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, policymakers are confronted with decisions that may prove to be among the most difficult of their careers. To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented measures are being taken globally. In Africa, at least 42 countries have imposed partial or full lockdowns on the movements and activities of their people. Experience around the world suggests that such interventions effectively suppress the spread of COVID-19. The lockdowns, however, pose considerable economic costs that, in turn, threaten lives, put livelihoods at risk and exacerbate poverty. Consequently, there is great interest in exit strategies for the COVID-19 lockdowns that preserve lives while protecting livelihoods. The challenge is that critical decision-making in these times is fraught with uncertainty. The present report sets out some of the exit strategies being proposed and tried around the world and outlines the risks involved for African countries.