Since the first case of COVID-19 on 5 March 2020 in South Africa, the epidemic grew exponentially with a doubling time of 2 days for the first 3 weeks until the effects of state-initiated interventions impacted reducing the doubling time to 15 days. The National response, which comprises 8 stages aims to flatten the curve. Stage 6 of the response on clinical care has provided new insights on the immune response, the role of the cytokine storm and the impact of dexamethasone on reducing mortality. The spectrum of Covid-19 disease from head to toe has transformed our initial understanding of Covid-19 as a respiratory distress syndrome.
The webinar will be presented by Salim S. Abdool Karim, FRS, South African clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist widely recognized for scientific contributions to HIV prevention and treatment. He is Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), Durban, and CAPRISA Professor of Global Health at Columbia University, New York.
He is an Adjunct Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard University, Boston, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University, New York, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. He is an Associate Member of The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. He previously served as President of the South African Medical Research Council and is currently serving as the Chair of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19.