COVID 19 – Africa (March)

Click on the image below to see the animated bar graph on cases.

Africa has perhaps had a chance to get a head start on preparing for COVID 19. In watching the graphic you will notice that for several weeks Egypt just had a single case and then it suddenly makes a huge jump. Some would say Africa has just been slow to detect cases but they may in fact be more experienced in monitoring communicable diseases. Either way, the numbers are starting to add up. I will keep this tracker updated from time to time as a visual indicator of the reported cases. Egypt and South Africa certainly appear to be affected more than most, although South Africa took longer to record its index case. Figures are from WHO Situational reports and Africa news sites and official SA Government site.The South African Government site is an excellent resource to monitor the situation in South Africa and access advise and guidelines.

Have you put a plan in place? This will require some careful thought, a friend recently described this scenario as a flock of black swans flying in. Another suggested today this disease may bankrupt more people than it kills.

In understanding the implications for business, McKinsey has useful material to help guide your thinking. It considers both the economic impact, considering some 3 different scenarios, and some thoughts on how to respond. In reality, this situation has so many implications and these need to be careful weighed up for each individual business. However, their proposed 7 immediate actions do are a good starting point:

  1. Protect your employees, providing practical guidelines on work, travel and hygiene.
  2. Set up a cross functional response team with 5 key work streams: employees, financial stress testing and contingency plans, supply chain, marketing and sales and other (ie all the elements specific to your situation)
  3. Understand the implications on your financial liquidity through some scenarios and build a contingency plan
  4. Stabilise the supply chain – (this is where we can help with some analysis of your situation and some workshops to work through implications and plans)
  5. Stay close to customers to understand how you can support their specific needs
  6. Practice your response plans for different scenarios with you leadership team
  7. Demonstrate purpose by being involved in the wider crisis where you can.

Africa COVID 19 - March 2020 -2

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