This paper considers how access to public sector healthcare in South Africa have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic using three sources of evidence: the NIDS-CRAM (Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey) and MatCH (Maternal and Child Health) SMS survey together with routine health care utilisation data from the District Health Information System (DHIS).
South Africa’s lockdown in March and April has saved lives by containing the spread of COVID-19 but it has done so at a tremendous social and economic cost. To avoid a second surge and another lockdown, it is vital to prioritise adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) as a first line of defence against containing COVID-19. NPIs can save lives without having to risk livelihoods. But to have an impact, it requires sufficiently high levels of public adherence.
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