COVID-19 Focus

SAIIA's coverage of the pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic will change the world and has thrown into stark relief the weaknesses in global institutions and international cooperation. Regionally, Africa will be significantly impacted as a result of the pandemic, with both short-term and long-term implications. Its effects are already reverberating across the continent, wreaking havoc on people’s livelihoods as governments clamp down on the movement of people and certain economic activity in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus and save lives. While the impact of COVID-19 is no doubt casting a pall over plans to enhance trade, good governance and natural resource management on the continent, it also offers us a unique opportunity to recalibrate our responses to ensure a more equitable and inclusive post-COVID-19 future. This page is a compilation of open source infographics on policy responses to the pandemic worldwide, our latest analysis on coronavirus in relation to our research themes, as well as past and upcoming webinars relevant to the pandemic and our work.

COVID-19 policy data

These 14 infographics, developed by the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, offer an interactive and up-to-date overview of governments’ policy responses to containing the pandemic and the support offered to citizens affected by the virus and its socio-economic consequences. 

School and workplace closures

This interactive chart maps government policies on school closures.

Note that there may be sub-national or regional differences in policies on school closures. The policy categories shown may not apply at all sub-national levels. A country is coded as ‘required closures’ if at least some sub-national regions have required closures.

This interactive chart maps government policies on workplaces closures.

Note that there may be sub-national or regional differences in policies on workplace closures. The policy categories shown may not apply at all sub-national levels. A country is coded as ‘required closures’ if at least some sub-national regions have required closures.

Cancellation of public events and gatherings

This interactive chart maps government policies on the cancellation of public events.

Note that there may be sub-national or regional differences in policies on event cancellations. The policy categories shown may not apply at all sub-national levels. A country is coded as ‘required’ if at least some sub-national regions have required cancellations.

This interactive chart maps government policies on restrictions on public gatherings.

Countries are grouped into five categories:

No restrictions
Restrictions on very large gatherings (the limit is above 1000 people)
Restrictions on gatherings between 100 to 1000 people
Restrictions on gatherings between 10 to 100 people
Restrictions on gatherings of less than 10 people
Note that there may be sub-national or regional differences in restrictions. The policy categories shown may not apply at all sub-national levels. A country is coded as having these restrictions if at least some sub-national regions have implemented them.

Public information campaigns

This interactive chart maps public information campaigns on COVID-19.

Note that there may be sub-national or regional differences in campaigns. The policy categories shown may not apply at all sub-national levels. A country is coded as having these policies if at least some sub-national regions have implemented them.

Further, the OxCGRT is missing data for many countries at level 1 “public officials urging caution about COVID-19”, and so most countries only have data for levels 0 and 2.

Stay-at-home restrictions

This interactive chart maps government policies on stay-at-home requirements or household lockdowns.

Countries are grouped into four categories:

No measures
Recommended not to leave the house
Required to not leave the house with exceptions for daily exercise, grocery shopping, and ‘essential’ trips
Required to not leave the house with minimal exceptions (e.g. allowed to leave only once every few days, or only one person can leave at a time, etc.)
Note that there may be sub-national or regional differences in restrictions. The policy categories shown may not apply at all sub-national levels. A country is coded as having these restrictions if at least some sub-national regions have implemented them.

International and domestic travel

This interactive chart maps government policies on public transport closures.

Note that there may be sub-national or regional differences in restrictions. The policy categories shown may not apply at all sub-national levels. A country is coded as having these restrictions if at least some sub-national regions have implemented them.

This interactive chart maps government policies on restrictions on internal movement/travel between regions and cities.

Note that there may be sub-national or regional differences in restrictions. The policy categories shown may not apply at all sub-national levels. A country is coded as having these restrictions if at least some sub-national regions have implemented them.

This interactive chart maps government policies on restrictions on international travel controls.

Testing and contact tracing

This interactive chart maps government policies on testing for COVID-19. Note that this include PCR. testing for the virus only; it does not include non-PCR, antibody testing.

Countries are grouped into four categories:

No testing policy
Testing only for those who both (a) have symptoms AND (b) meet specific criteria (e.g. key workers, admitted to hospital, came into contact with a known case, returned from overseas)
Testing of anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms
Open public testing (e.g “drive through” testing available to asymptomatic people)

This interactive chart maps government policies on contract testing for COVID-19.

Note that this does not necessarily include voluntary mobile phone apps, but is about whether the government is tracing all potentially-exposed people after a confirmed diagnosis.

Income support and debt relief

This interactive chart maps which governments provide income support to workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note that this income support may not apply to workers in all sectors, and may vary at the sub-national level.

This interactive chart maps which governments provide debt or contract relief to citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note that this may vary at the sub-national level.

Government Stringency Index

The OxCGRT project calculate a Government Stringency Index, a composite measure of nine of the response metrics.

The nine metrics used to calculate the Government Stringency Index are: school closures; workplace closures; cancellation of public events; restrictions on public gatherings; closures of public transport; stay-at-home requirements; public information campaigns; restrictions on internal movements; and international travel controls.

The index on any given day is calculated as the mean score of the nine metrics, each taking a value between 0 and 100. See the authors’ full description of how this index is calculated.

A higher score indicates a stricter government response (i.e. 100 = strictest response).

It’s important to note that this index simply records the strictness of government policies. It does not measure or imply the appropriateness or effectiveness of a country’s response. A higher score does not necessarily mean that a country’s response is ‘better’ than others lower on the index.

Webinars

We regularly host online events and team up with other institutes across the world to bring you live commentary and an opportunity to ask various experts questions related to the theme of the webinar.

No webinars are currently scheduled – view past webinars below:

5 May 2020 | Webinar

You are invited to a webinar on assessing the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in Africa and Latin America.

12 May 2020 | Webinar

You are invited to a webinar on regional and international cooperation in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ways it’s impacting the international system.

11 Jun 2020 | Webinar

You are invited to a Youth Month webinar hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and partners.

Analysis

Read our latest research and analysis on how COVID-19 is affecting global economic governance, foreign policy, trade, governance and natural resource management, with a particular focus on Africa.

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Multimedia

Our team of researchers are often called upon to share their expertise with the media and during events hosted by partner organisations. You can watch or listen to their contributions here.

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