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. As South Africa moves into Stage 5, which focuses on Hotspot identification and mitigation, with the easing of the lockdown, field hospitals preparations in the major centres are well advanced as the country braces for a peak sometime in August this year.
Salim S. Abdool Karim
Salim S. Abdool Karim, FRS, is a 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 is currently serving as the Chair of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19.
Dr Abdool Karim is ranked among the world’s most highly cited scientists by Web of Science. He serves on the Boards of several journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Global Health, Lancet HIV and mBio. He is the Chair of the UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel, WHO’s HIV Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee as well as the WHO TB-HIV Task Force. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).