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South Africa FETP residents respond to COVID-19

South Africa recorded its first COVID-19 case on 5 March 2020 and since then confirmed cases have risen to 1,280 with two (2) recorded deaths as of 30 March 2020. In an effort to curb the spread of infection, the South African government has instituted a number of preventative measures including a national lockdown; 26 March- 16 April 2020. The South African Field Epidemiology Training Program (SAFETP) alumni and residents are working closely with the Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), National and provincial departments of health to intensify the surveillance, preparedness and response activities for COVID-19. Two of the trainees are also involved in surveillance activities at their own placement sites at the provincial level. The graduates of the frontline (basic) epidemiology courses are participating in surveillance and contact tracing in their respective provinces and districts.

SA FELTP residents participated in the following activities: 

• Participation in the development of the COVID-19 technical resources such as guidelines for case finding, diagnosis, management, and public health response

• Extensive work in contact tracing

• Daily symptoms monitoring of close contacts of the confirmed cases

• Epidemiologic data management activities

• Conducting in-service training of healthcare professionals and

• Community awareness about mode of transmission and prevention measures using mass media

• Data capturing

• Staff deployed to Field for swabbing and contact tracing