Invitation to a virtual panel discussion on Social, Psychological and Health Impact of COVID-19 on the Elderly

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the Embassy of Italy in South Africa, cordially invite you to register for the virtual panel discussion on Social, Psychological and Health Impact of COVID-19 on the Elderly: South African and Italian Perspectives

Date: Tuesday, 7 July 2020
Time: 11:00
Venue: Webinar using Zoom
RSVPClick here by 3 July 2020
Requirements: Stable internet access. More details will be communicated to registered participants closer to the date.

The elderly population has been included in the vulnerable population to the mental health risks of COVID-19. This group in our society is confronted with high rates of pre-existing depressive symptoms and the challenges of accessing mental health services. The elderly population has been reported to be more susceptible, especially those with underlying diseases, to COVID-19 infection and severe illnesses. Recent studies have showed a higher mortality of elderly patients with COVID-19 to those of young and middle-aged patients. *The global distribution of deaths by age of the elderly and those with underlying co-morbidities ranges from 50 – 75% of the reported cases. To date, the South African Government has reported age distribution deaths of 54,9% for those who are 60 years and older. Italy has gone through a difficult period and has now seen a decrease in both infection and mortality amongst its citizens, while South Africa is beginning to see an increase in infection and mortality rates. This panel discussion will explore the challenges confronting the elderly in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.

*For clearity  

Welcoming Remarks: 

Professor Jonathan Jansen, President, ASSAf

HE Mr Paolo Cuculi, Ambassador, Embassy of Italy in South Africa           


Professor Priscilla Reddy, Deputy Executive Director, HSRC, South Africa


Professor Emanuele Nicastri, Scientific Director, Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases, Italy

Professor Ashraf Kagee, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Professor Fabrizia Lattanzio, Scientific Director of the National Institute for Health and Science on Aging, Italy

Professor Margie Schneider, University of Cape Town, South Africa