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Science Forum South Africa (SFSA)

If COVID-19 is the 9/11 moment for global science advice, what needs to happen next? Read more

Invitation to Skills to prepare South Africa for future pandemics

When it comes to igniting conversations around science, the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) is proud of its [ ... ]

Update on coronavirus pandemic

Statements and reports published 

The unanticipated costs of COVID-19 to South Africa’s quadruple disease burden

Commonwealth academies statement on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable energy

ASSAf Statement: Academic freedom and the values of science

 Report on ASSAf’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

ASSAf Statement on the Implications of Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19) in South Africa

Cameroon Statement

COVID-19 Update: Engagement with Minister, Deputy Minister, NICD & MECs

ASSAf Membership responses to COVID-19 


South Africa has changed approach on tackling #COVID: why it makes sense – co-authored by ASSAf Member, Prof Shabir Madhi


Vaccine mandates in South Africa: where are they most needed? By Prof Keymanthri Moodley, Centre for Medical Ethics & Law, Stellenbosch University

Global cooperation, and not Covid colonialism, is the only way to end the pandemic, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice-Chancellor at UJ:

Omicron is the new #COVID kid on the block: five steps to avoid, ten to take immediately, by Prof Shabir Madhi, Dean Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Vaccinology @WitsUniversity @HSoodyall @JJ_Stellies

The hunt for coronavirus variants: how the new one was found and what we know so far, co-authored by 3 ASSAf Members: Profs Wolfgang Preiser, Marietjie Venter and Tulio de Oliveira

New lineage of SARS-CoV-2: what’s known so far, co-authored by Professors Wolfgang Preiser and Penny Moore -

The Clement Manyathela Show: Hanging out with Jonathan Jansen -

Why COVID-19 vaccines should be mandatory in South Africa, by Prof Keymanthri Moodley -

Covid-19: Herd immunity is not achievable, by Prof Shabir Madhi -

Prof Salim Abdool Karim reacts to easing of COVID-19 restrictions -

JONATHAN JANSEN | UCT’s online school: Admirable maybe. Equal opportunity? Definitely not -

Vaccines are the only way to control the pandemic, says SAMRC head Prof Glenda Gray -

Spike in COVID-19 cases points to gaps in South Africa’s response, by Professor Laetitia Rispel -\

South Africa’s vaccine quagmire, and what needs to be done now, co-authored by Professors Imraan Valodia and Shabir Madhi -

Extension of level 4 lockdown required as cases continue to surge: Prof Shabir Madhi -

COVID-19 | Prof Madhi warns against easing restrictions -

COVID-19 | WATCH | Prof Salim Abdool Karim unpacks Delta variant -

As the wave of looting wanes, a tsunami of Covid looms: Abdool Karim -

The COVID-19 resurgence, the Delta variant & the flaws in the vaccine rollout: Prof Shabir Madhi explains why it’s crucial to give shots soon and to as many people as possible.

A study on the South African government’s handling of COVID-19 shows declining trust - new research suggests that South Africans are more likely to trust scientific sources, such as doctors and the World Health Organization than their own government: Prof Herman Wasserman

Covid-19 resurgence in Gauteng: A crisis that is likely to worsen rapidly, by Prof Shabir Madhi -

Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown puts spotlight back on vaccination failures, by Prof Shabir Madhi -

New COVID variants have changed the game, and vaccines will not be enough. We need global ‘maximum suppression’ – an article co-authored by Prof Salim Abdool Karim

Social media users in Kenya and South Africa trust science, but still share COVID-19 hoaxes – an article co-authored by Prof Herman Wasserman

The role of South Africa’s social scientists in COVID-19 responses: why it matters by Prof Crain Soudien -

Infl Pandemics, uenzalessons for COVID-19 with Prof Jeffrey Mphahlele - Vice-President: South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) -

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority board chairperson Professor Helen Rees spoke on the vaccine rollout -

In conversation with Professor Jeffrey Mphahlele, Vice President of the SAMRC, on the safety of the #Covid19 vaccine -

In conversation with Professor Jeffrey Mphahlele & marketing manager George Daniel -

In the Hot Seat – Prof. Shabir Madhi: Principal Investigator of the Oxford Trial | Carte Blanche -

COVID-19 In SA: Professor Salim Abdool Karim reflects on the past year -

Budget 2021 | Call to double the sugary beverage levy: Prof Karen Hofman -

Viruses, variants, and vaccines co-authored by Professors D.A Cowan, S.G Burton, E.P Rybicki,  A-L Williamson and M.S Pepper -

Not using AstraZeneca vaccine goes against the spirit of what the Health Department espoused by Professor Shabir Madhi -

Reasons to be optimistic about sub-Saharan higher education after Covid-19 co-authored by Prof Zeblon Z Vilakazi -

Pandemic hits children hard co-authored by Professors Mark Tomlinson and Linda Richter -

Prof Jeffrey Mphahlele on the AstraZeneca confusion, rollout process and population target -

How mountains were moved to get J&J COVID-19 vaccines to South Africa – this article highlights the pivotal role that Prof Glenda Gray played in getting the J&J vaccines to the country

South Africa needs a massive awareness campaign to overcome Covid vaccine hesitancy By Prof Mark Tomlinson and Prof Ashraf Kagee -

How the coronavirus mutates and what this means for the future of COVID-19, co-authored by Professors Ed Rybicki, Anna-Lise Williamson, Don Cowan and Stephanie G Burton -

Results from Novavax vaccine trials in the UK and South Africa differ: why, and does it matter? by Prof Shabir A. Madhi -

COVID-19 has hurt some more than others: South Africa needs policies that reflect this, co-authored by Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu -

COVID-19 Vaccine | In conversation with Prof. Salim Abdool Karim -

Infectious diseases specialist & vaccine scientist, Prof Linda-Gail Bekker, deputy director of UCT’s Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, cautioned that if only a few people get vaccinated we are not going to control the virus.

Prof Tulio de Oliveira and ASSAf Member, Prof Willem Hanekom who discovered new COVID-19 variant share what they know

WATCH: Karim explains how new variant is highly transmissible -

WATCH: Karim explains how new variant is highly transmissible -

COVID-19 vaccine | Madhi: SA failed to get its act together-

All you should know about where we are with Covid-19 vaccines, article by Professors Glenda Gray, Shabir Madhi and Wolfgang Preiser - 

Higher education reconsidered : beyond the pandemic and possibilities for new knowledge architectures - postgraduate education forum commentary, article published in the Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine by Prof Ruksana Osman -

Vaccines for South Africa. Now, OP-ED with Profs Glenda Gray, Guy Richards -

This virus is catchy — we need vaccines urgently, by Prof Linda-Gail Bekker -

The second wave of COVID-19 continues to ravage the country: Jeffrey Mphahlele -

Battle against COVID-19 continues as new strains discovered in SA and UK: Prof Shabir Madhi -

All you should know about where we are with Covid-19 vaccines, article by Professors Glenda Gray, Shabir Madhi and Wolfgang Preiser - 

Higher education reconsidered : beyond the pandemic and possibilities for new knowledge architectures - postgraduate education forum commentary, article published in the Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine by Prof Ruksana Osman -

Vaccines for South Africa. Now, OP-ED with Profs Glenda Gray, Guy Richards -

This virus is catchy — we need vaccines urgently, by Prof Linda-Gail Bekker -

Covid-19: Clues to survival in 2021, article by Professor Jonathan Jansen -

Anthony Fauci and Salim Abdool Karim joint winners of John Maddox Prize 2020 -

Professor Salim Abdool Karim: New variant a cause for concern -

Experts checking how COVID-19 variant emerged: Prof Karim -

Gauteng braces itself for spike in COVID-19 cases as holidaymakers return, interview with Prof Jeffrey Mphahlele -

SA experts discuss COVID-19 vaccines - Part2, with Profs Helen Rees and Jeffrey Mphahlele -

SA experts discuss COVID-19 vaccines - Part1, with Professors Helen Rees and Jeffrey Mphahlele -



Moribund Council on Higher Education is immobilising academic agility, co-authored by Prof Adam Habib - 

Professor Carolina Koornhof: Financial sustainability: Universities’ business model must be sufficiently flexible to survive drastic change, writes UP Finance Director -

Prof Tshilidzi Marwala : Covid-19, 4IR and the breakneck pace at which higher education is evolving -

Prof Ivan Turok : Four lessons to learn from state’s management of Covid-hit townships -

Prof Carolina Koornhof : Covid-19: The impact on universities and how their business models need to flexible -

Mapping the lockdown, co-authored by Prof Ivan Turok -

How the Covid-19 lockdown impacted on SA’s mental health, co-authored by Dr Mark Orkin and Professor Kate Alexander

The Covid-19 crisis has amplified spatial inequalities, co-authored by Prof Ivan Turok

For the latest on #COVID19 in SA, an interview with Prof Shabir Madhi, Professor of Vaccinology @WitsUniversity well worth listening to: realistic infection rates, performance of our health system, vaccine development & much more. Listen here:

South Africans urged to continue adhering to health regulations, interview with Professor Glenda Gray –

Level 1 health risks, interview with Professor Salim Abdool Karim -

Covid-19 policy: Public engagement is crucial, article co-authored by Prof Karen Hofman -

Why halting the COVID-19 vaccine trial is part of the process, article by Prof Shabir Madhi -

The Inside Track: A Special Covid-19 Update​​​​​​​, webinar with Prof Shabir Madhi -

Wits, GCRO, IBM and Gauteng Province opens Covid-19 dashboard to public, co-authored by Professor Zeblon Vilakazi -

The claim that SA’s economy has declined by 51% is a misrepresentation of the facts, by Professor Imraan Valodia -

How pooled testing can increase access to essential laboratory tests in Africa, co-authored by Prof. Wolfgang Preiser -

Why Africa needs to be involved in the development of Covid-19 vaccines, article by Professor Shabir Madhi -

“People become complacent and that is the concern” - Professor Salim Abdool Karim -

What can be done to revive South Africa’s economy? Opinion piece by Professor Jan H van Heerden -

Update with Prof Salim Abdool Karim: What to expect next -

Why South Africa’s role in COVID-19 vaccine trials is important – an interview with Prof Keertan Dheda

ASSAf Member Prof Anthony Okoh from UFH has been appointed to serve on the National Wastewater #Covid19 surveillance team

Africa needs to do more to position itself to benefit from future Covid-19 vaccines – an Op-Ed co-authored by Prof Wilmot James

Coronavirus in South African Universities, interview with Professor Ahmed Bawa on ENCA -

CDE’s executive director, Ann Bernstein, has written three op-eds which address these issues:

 If the state is largely broken, who will implement the reforms we need?, News24, 28 August 2020 (read here)

Business must raise its voice and take the lead in SA's fight for survival, Business Day, 20 August 2020 (read here)

South Africa must choose wisely from a plethora of economic recovery plans, Daily Maverick, 18 August 2020 (read here)

Quo vadis SA universities in a post-Covid-19 future? By Prof Wim De Villiers -

The dilemma of the South African economy. By Professor Tshilidzi Marwala -

Prof Salim Abdool Karim provides insight on the high Covid-19 recovery rate in SA -

COVID-19: No major spike expected under Level 2, says Karim -

'The second surge is waiting to pounce,' Prof Abdool Karim warns SA -

Professor Salim Abdool Karim: ‘Covid-19 reinfections can occur’ -

Judgment Date with Judge Dennis Davis, Episode 30, interview with Professor Glenda Gray: should children return to school? -

Children, Covid-19 and Classrooms: A 10-point Plan for Making Schooling Safe, advisory of the Scientists Collective, co-authored by Professors Glenda Gray and Shabir Madhi -

SA to launch second COVID-19 vaccine study in Africa, radio interview with Prof Shabir Madhi -

Covid 19: Scientific excellence will help explore new frontiers, article co-authored by Professors Garth Stevens, João Rodrigues and Imraan Valodia -

Covid 19: Scientific excellence will help explore new frontiers, article co-authored by Professors Garth Stevens, João Rodrigues and Imraan Valodia -

Responses to COVID-19 require inputs from every angle of people’s lives, article co-authored by Prof Jonathan Jansen -

Covid-19 Expert Advice #1: How long should I isolate or quarantine for?, co-authored by Profs Shabir Madhi and Glenda Gray -

It’s time to get real: Leadership lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, by Prof Jenny Hoobler:

How women in academia are feeling the brunt of COVID-19, an article by Profs Keymanthri Moodley and Amanda Gouws

Three South African vice-chancellors paint a post-COVID picture for universities, co-authored by Profs Mamokgethi Phakeng and Adam Habib

Testing for Covid-19? All you need to know about antibody tests, co-authored by Prof Wolfgang Preiser

Practical guidance on disinfecting, expert advisory co- authored by Profs Shabir Madhi and Wolfgang Preiser -

Prof Kelly Chibale: Africa should be at the forefront of Covid-19 vaccine trials —and should be providing scientific leadership,

Tackling Covid-19 through AI, By Prof Tshilidzi Marwala 

Prof Gray urges South Africans to take COVID-19 serious -

Too soon to estimate Africa’s COVID-19 death rate, says Glenda Ray -

WATCH: Karim explains why schools should remain open -

In conversation with Professor Salim Abdool Karim on SA’s COVID-19 outlook -

Prof Jonathan Jansen urges Minister Angie Motshekga to cancel academic year -


Africa’s research capacity is growing. That’s good news for pandemic response efforts, article co-authored by Prof Sharon Fonn -

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated our shift to the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, article authored by Professor Tshilidzi Marwala -

Covid-19: Women are bearing more costs and receiving fewer benefits, article co-authored by Prof Dorrit Posel -

How COVID-19 threatens efforts to contain HIV/AIDS in South Africa, co-authored by Dr Nesri Padayatchi -

Teacher union concerns about spreading Covid-19 need to be aired: Prof Glenda Gray -

 Cancel the school year 'for the sake of our children': Jonathan Jansen -

Jonathan Jansen on the emotional impacts of the pandemic and lockdown on South African children -


Covid-19: An antibody-based serology test provides little to no real-time value- an Op-Ed by Prof Shabir Madhi

A letter co-athored by Prof Wolfgang Preiser published in Science Direct on COVID-19 in Africa

Prof Wolfgang Preiser was interviewed for Carte Blanche about SARS-CoV-2 in waste water, its possible implications for health and using it as an epidemiological tool. 

COVID-19 vaccine trial in South Africa: everything you need to know article authored by Shabir Madhi

South Africans must be healthier for universal healthcare to succeed, article co-authored by Prof Charles Parry -

Covid-19: A terrifying glimpse of a future where overpopulation and climate crisis overwhelm Earth, article by Prof Mark Tomlinson -

#COVID19: How PE waste pickers navigate lockdown and hunger, featuring ASSAf Members, Profs Angela Mathee, SAMRC & Wolfgang Preiser Stellenbosch University

#COVID19: What is the risk from waste? Analysis by Prof Wolfgang Preiser, Stellenbosch University

Despite stellar efforts against Covid-19, business has failed to win SA hearts, Business Day, 3 July 2020 (see here)

CDE’s youth unemployment report, eNCA, 18 June 2020 (watch here)

No country for young people – are we tackling youth unemployment the right way?, AB in conversation with Bruce Whitfield,  702, 15 June 2020 (listen here)

Focus on economic growth in SA post COVID-19, Classic FM, 9 June 2020 (listen here)

Government must abandon its developmental state ambitions and look to the private sector, News 24, 10 May 2020 (see here)

Is our economic recovery headed in the right direction? Business Day TV, 5 May 2020 (watch here)

Prioritising action on diabetes during Covid-19 – co-authored by Prof Karen Hofman

Who is responsible for government’s failure to deliver? – Op-Ed by Prof Jeremy Seekings

Cultural factors are behind disinformation pandemic: why this matters – by Prof Herman Wasserman 

COVID-19 vaccine: the challenges of running a trial in the middle of a pandemic, article by Prof Jeffrey Mphahlele - 

Distance, Dose, Dispersion: An experts’ guide on Covid-19 risks in South Africa and how to manage them, article co-authored by Profs Imraan Valodia and Shabir Madhi -

Reflections on the future of nursing in South Africa, article authored by Prof Laetitia Rispel - 

South Africa’s budget to deal with COVID-19 fails to pave way for more equal society, article co-authored by Prof Imraan Valodia -

Responding to the Challenge of the Dual COVID-19 and Ebola Epidemics in the Democratic Republic of Congo - Priorities for Achieving Control: co-authored by Profs Jean Nachega & Wolfgang Preiser

A pedagogy of care: Teachers rise to the challenge of the ‘new normal’ – Prof Aslam Fataar


Balancing privacy with public health: how well is South Africa doing? – co-authored by Prof Michael Pepper


Climate change, biodiversity loss and other global ills share root causes, article by Profs Robert and Mary Scholes -

Covid-19: The full economic impact will only be known later, article co-authored by Prof Imraan Valodia -

SA needs to block transmission routes to get Covid-19 under control, article co-authored by Profs Imraan Valodia and Shabir Madhi -

What sets good and bad leaders apart in the #coronavirus era? 4 of the top 5 performing countries in terms of lives saved & control of the spread of the virus have women leaders - Prof Lawrence Hamilton 

The Academy of Medical Sciences in collaboration with 8 Academies and organisations from LMICs: Argentina; Brazil; India; Malaysia; the Philippines; South Africa; Uganda; and The African Academy of Sciences hosted a virtual workshop from 15 to 18 June 2020 to consider the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic response in LMICs. – ASSAf Members who participated are: Profs Heidi van Rooyen, Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Karen Hofman, Julian May, Priscilla Reddy, Michael Pepper 

Social solidarity may be the only way through for SA in Covid-19 times. Webinar assessing the country’s handling of the pandemic so far with Prof Glenda Gray as a panel member.

South Africa can get COVID-19 under control if it blocks the routes that enable transmission – co-authored by Profs Imraan Valodia and Shabir Madhi - 

Prof Aslam Fataar part of signatories that have declared that it is too early to open up schools and education centres.

New coal and nuclear power proposals undermine prospects of a post-Covid-19 economic recovery, by Prof Anton Eberhard -

 South Africa must adopt a localised response to #COVID19 What it would look like - an article co-authored by ASSAf Member Prof Ayesha Kharsany:

Prof Francis Petersen VC was a main speaker at the RUFORUM webinar on 10 June 2020 titled ‘Learning from a crisis: University leaders’ response to the COVID-19 Pandemic':

 ASSAf Members, Profs Deon de Beer & Tinyiko Maluleke contributed to the South African Technology Network #COVID19 position paper on pre & post-pandemic management in SA:

The 6th report in the Centre for Development and Enterprise series focusing on the #Covid19 crisis: Are we asking the right questions about… Food supplies and poverty alleviation in the former homelands?

 Why the world needs to ensure wild species are used sustainably - Co-authored by Profs Charlie Shackleton & Rachel Wynberg 

Climate change,biodiversity loss and other global ills share root causes

A ‘scientific’ approach to pandemic lacking transparency 

URGENT: Stop random Covid-19 testing and sort out the backlog: Op-ed co-authored by Prof Shabir Madhi 

From Easing Lockdowns to Scaling-Up Community-Based COVID-19 Screening, Testing, and Contact Tracing in Africa – Shared Approaches, Innovations, and Challenges to Minimize Morbidity and Mortality: by Wolfgang Preiser & Jean Nachega

CSIR Group Executive Dr Rachel Chikwamba delivers a keynote address on the role of #RDI in response to COVID-19 and Africa's readiness for future pandemics at an AUDA NEPAD in collaboration with Southern Africa Network for Biosciences - NEPAD SANBio and PATH #COVID19 Response Webinar on June 4 at 14:00. To join the conversation: ASSAf Member, Prof Mark Tomlinson, participates in the above webinar.

Prof Wilmot James is a core instructor and participant in a 4 day virtual workshop on Leadership and Decision-Making during Pandemics, presented by Columbia University:

 Disinfection tunnels for Covid-19 have negligible benefit and are potentially dangerous – Co-authored by Prof Shabir Madhi

Africa Day Webinar on Reflections on Africa amidst Covid-19, hosted by Prof Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni -

How universities can play a role in shaping a new post-crisis world, article authored by Profs Adam Habib and Imraan Valodia -

Covid-19 has forced us into the fast lane of the 4IR super-highway, article authored by Prof Tshilidzi Marwala -

Freedom of speech and public interest, not allegiance, should underpin science advisement to government, article co-authored by Profs Jonathan Jansen and Adam Habib -

Sub-Saharan Africa needs to plug local knowledge gap to up its anti-COVID-19 game, article co-authored by Prof Sharon Fonn -

Online learning is integral to the future of Higher Education; embrace it or become irrelevant, zoom webinar with Profs Adam Habib and Ahmed Bawa -

Social science shows it can contribute to COVID-19 policy-making – Co-authored by Prof Murray Leibbrandt

Are we asking the right questions about… Small businesses and their struggle for survival? Centre for Development and Enterprise of which Ann Bernstein is the CEO

This is an opportunity for our universities to regain credibility : By Professor Francis Petersen

Professor Imraan Valodia : A new, fairer economy is possible, but that would mean sacrifice

Professor Bavesh Kana and Dr Bhavna Gordhan have harvested live coronavirus for validating tests

 How South Africa’s health system could take a hit from pandemic lawsuits, article co-authored by Prof Keymanthri Moodley - 

This is an opportunity for our universities to regain credibility : By Professor Francis Petersen

Professor Imraan Valodia : A new, fairer economy is possible, but that would mean sacrifice

Professor Bavesh Kana and Dr Bhavna Gordhan have harvested live coronavirus for validating tests

ASSAf Members, Profs Jacek Banasiak and Jean Lubuma are part of a team of UP mathematicians that has developed a website for communication of mathematical analysis of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

Prof Jonathan Jansen – opinion piece on schools reopening:

#ListenToTheExperts Prof Helen Rees, Exec Director, Wits RHI tells us about the solidarity trial - - Glenda Gray interview on 702 Shabir Madhi interview on 702

ASSAf Member, Prof Qingguo Wang is part of the Institute of Intelligent Systems team at UJ that is developing an alternative solution to ensure compliance with social distancing, a 'pandemic drone'

COVID19 'Deciding whose lives really matter in a pandemic' - a thought provoking commentary in the Mail & Guardian. Co-authored by ASSAf Member & 2019 Gold Medal recipient Prof Leslie Swartz, distinguished professor of psychology at Stellenbosch University

South Africa’s COVID-19 strategy needs updating: here’s why and how – co-authored by Profs Imraan Valodia & Shabir Madhi

The Covid-19 crisis: Our winter of despair could become a spring of hope - column by Prof Saleem Badat

President Ramaphosa’s latest announcement on the lockdown is too little, too late. Profs Wim de Villiers & Eugene Cloete

An interview with Prof Shabir Madhi @WitsUniversity on the #COVID19 pandemic, the futility of the current #lockdown, schoolchildren & many other burning issues

Jean B. Nachega, Shaheen Mehtar and Wolfgang Preiser give an overview of Covid-19 across the continent, Africa Health journal, April 2020

Co-authored by Prof Shabir Madhi – ‘Reopening: A shared responsibility of education departments & stakeholders’. The authors argue that the certainty that is required by learners, parents and communities — and the public in general — is the confidence that the education authorities and stakeholders, particularly teacher unions, have worked together to take all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of teachers, workers, and learners at schools.

Behavioural science and its potential to guide our response to Covid-19 - By Mark Tomlinson and Taryn Young -

#lockdown Are both both men & women’s family roles being given “equal time” for the first time? Prof Jenny Hoobler, professor of Human Resource Management @UPTuks "Gender equality gets a boost from the new normal"

Contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic: Protection of personal information in South Africa – a review co-authored by Prof Michael Pepper 

Prof. Shabir Madhi on MyHealthTV- Covid-19 and the re-opening of schools: Prof. Madhi talks us through the latest developments and information around Covid-19 (as of 8 May 2020) and how it will affect the re-opening of schools, school children and teachers.

Prof Lise Korsten and Prof Lucky Mathebula - Discussing food sovereignty in a COVID-19 world:

Profs Stephanie Burton and Michael Pepper: Lockdowns and research: what we lost and what we stand to gain.

Prof Shabir Madhi: 'It is time for the government to realise there is nothing more it can do. It is up to SA citizens to now take responsibility'. Covid-19 webinar discussion - Has South Africa taken the correct course of action in the fight against Covid-19? Have we made the most of lockdown? Should our schools now reopen? Are we testing enough and tracing properly? As we enter the third month of the National State of Disaster, how should we pivot our response? What should we be doing better or differently?

Co-authored by Prof Shabir Madhi: South Africa’s COVID-19 testing strategy needs urgent fixing: here’s how to do it.

Webinar on: COVID-19 and Africa's Higher Education System: What is going on? Moderated by Prof Ahmed Bawa. One of the panellists is Prof Adam Habib, also an ASSAf Member -

Review on public transport and risk of transmission –

What should public transport look like -

Prof Keertan Dheda was invited to contribute to a special COVID-19 issue of the “Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine”.  or

Adam Habib: South Africa must deal with what haunts it when pandemic is over

Impact of school closures on education outcomes in South Africa, article by Crain Soudien -

 Prof Lynn Morris, Interim Executive Director: NICD participates in a webinar organised by Nigeria Health Watch – Innovation in the global fight against Covid-19

A Covid-19 related blog co-authored by ASSAf Council member, Prof Sabiha Essack titled: Global call to healthcare providers treating COVID-19 patients to implement diagnostic stewardship/microbial diagnostics and exercise prudence in prescribing antibiotics

Prof C Wiysonge published an article in Think Global Health, titled South Africa’s War on Covid-19 He also co-authored this Lancet commentary, as part of the COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition: Global coalition to accelerate COVID-19 clinical research in resource-limited settings

Article by Prof S Kagee: and and 1 radio interview:

Prof Irma Eloff: an interview on eNCA about 'Teaching children about Covid-19'

Prof Wolfgang Preiser: A paper in the World Complexity Science Academy Journal (WCSAJ) and an interview on Carte Blanche that was aired on 3 May:

Commentary by Prof Alan Christoffels: SA’s first SARS-COV-2 genome sequence and analysis - REFLECTIONS

Webinar with Ann Bernstein, Executive Director of CDE on Covid-19: ‘Unlocking’ South Africa’s economy - different perspectives (Fri, 8 May). Register here to watch the recording on demand:

Prof Calie Pistorius - launched an open access public e-journal, exploring the strategic impact as well as short and longer term risks, threats and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic

Prof Kgethi Phakeng is interviewed on ScienceBusiness on: COVID-19 is ushering in a new way to do research and teaching

Prof Danny Bradlow: An article titled Vultures, doves and African debt: here’s a way out

Prof Imraan Valodia: An article on What should South Africa’s coronavirus endgame look like? Here are some options

An article co-authored by Profs Bob Scholes and Guy Midgley: The science to policy process that was developed to guide climate mitigation decisions can be applied to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, without having to be reinvented: Choices in a fog of uncertainty: lessons for coronavirus from climate change

Prof Keyan Tomaselli: Involved in an entertainment education project – A digital comic story for children and their parents on the lockdown. The animated version is here:

You can't swap a teacher for homeschooling - Prof Jonathan Jansen

Scrap school year and pass all learners – Professor Jonathan Jansen

Can the philosophy of ubuntu help provide a way to face health crises? Prof Lenore Manderson

COVID-19 shows that where there is political will there is a way to work across sectors, article co-authored by Prof Sharon Fonn -

Sheer volume of misinformation risks diverting focus from fighting coronavirus, article by Profs Michael Pepper and Stephanie Burton -

Limiting the spread of COVID-19 in Africa: one size mitigation strategies do not fit all countries - The Lancet Global Health
Profs Wolfgang Preiser & Jen Nachega

Prof Charles Feldman in the Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine at Wits interrogates the aggravating issue of South Africa’s additional burdens of HIV and tuberculosis and the risk of COVID-19 infection in HIV-positive patients.

‘Fake news’ and COVID19 How have we performed? - ASSAf Member Prof Herman Wasserman assesses the media, government & public’s performance on reporting & sharing the facts on COVID19. Prof Wasserman is professor of Media Studies & Director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies University of Cape Town Access the full article

Isolation and quarantine in South Africa during COVID-19: Draconian measures or proportional response?

Critical care triaging in the shadow of COVID-19: Ethics considerations

Diagnosis of COVID-19 : considerations, controversies and challenges in South Africa, Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine 

Global Health in the Covid-19 Era: Tackling the Real Issues

#Coronavirus risks forcing SA to make health trade-offs it can ill afford, article co-authored by Prof Karen Hofman - "if routine immunisation is not classified as an essential service there will likely be severe consequences".

Lockdowns threaten children’s nutrition: why extra care is needed, article co-authored by Prof Julian May - the nutritional shocks on young children whose families have lost their income as a result of the #lockdown may have long lasting effects.

What post-lockdown strategy should SA follow to contain the #COVID19 outbreak? ASSAf Members Imraan Valodia & Shabir Madhi amongst academics who argue for prioritising of mass testing & contact tracing for best chance of saving SA's health & economy.

“The South African Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” - From a data perspective (Speaker: Prof Salim Abdool Karim. This morning UKZN’s Big Data and Informatics team hosted a Q&A webinar with Prof Karim where he answered questions based on his presentation on eNCA on Monday, 13 April.

Today’s UKZN webinar – 65 minutes:  

Summarised version of Prof Karim’s eNCA presentation on 13 April – 10 minutes:

Complete version of his eNCA presentation on 13 April – 58 minutes:  

Data@Breakfast is an initiative of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Big Data and Informatics Research Flagship. 

Why Sisyphus comes to mind in my daily struggles against coronavirus  

Will South Africa run out of food during the coronavirus lockdown? Will South Africa run out of food during the coronavirus lockdown?  

HSRC investigates impact of COVID-19 on health workers

HSRC, university investigating impact of Covid-19 on health workers

‘Flocking’: UP academic’s research forms basis of psychosocial support organisation’s drive to provide hope during COVID-19

Summary of briefing by Prof Salim Abdool Kariem:

Lockdowns threaten childrens’ nutrition: why extra care is needed

Covid-19 could be with us potentially for years

ASSAf Member, Prof Salim Abdool Karim in a webinar with Daily Maverick, discusses South Africa's response to the Covid-19 pandemic - 

“Public health isn’t just about dealing with the crisis in front of us now. We have to be thinking about the future,” said Prof Alan Christoffels, chair in bioinformatics and human health genomes at the South African Research Chairs Initiative.

Article by Prof Danny Bradlow

Article by ASSAf member, Prof Brenda Wingfield

Professors Sehaam Khan and Saurabh Sinha recently penned an opinion article published in the Daily Maverick on 6 April 2020.  or

Tough choices about who gets ICU access (Keymanthri Moodley):

Professor Helen Rees was invited on SABC’s #TheAgenda to discuss the basics around the #coronavirus outbreak on 5th April 2020.

Professor Shabir Madhi delivered a presentation on tackling COVID-19 to the Wits University Council on Friday, 3 April 2020.

COVID-19 101: Q&A with Prof Ed Rybicki -

Covid-19: Bold programmes are needed to mitigate the economic crisis, Prof Imraan Valodia -

Yes, washing our hands really can help curb the spread of coronavirus, Prof Karen Hofman-

No evidence to suggest pregnant women are more prone to contracting COVID-19, interview with Prof Shabir Madhi - 

Whither Covid-19? An interview with SA’s chief virus hunter, Prof Lynn Morris -

ASSAf Member, Prof Helen Rees is one of 2 Wits researchers who are coordinating the enrolment of Covid-19 positive patients at 14 hospitals countrywide in an international clinical trial launched by the World Health Organisation which will compare the safety and effectiveness of four different drugs or drug combinations against Covid-19. The trial will begin in the next two weeks. Read more:

ASSAf Member, Prof Murray Leibbrandt, co-authored the article below titled South Africa can – and should – top up child support grants to avoid a humanitarian crisis. Prof Leibbrant is Pro-Vice Chancellor, Poverty and Inequality; NRF Chair in Poverty and Inequality Research; and Director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

ASSAf Member & Pro Vice-Chancellor for Big Data and Informatics at UKZN, Prof Francesco Petruccione, hosts a monthly data@breakfast seminar series. He decided to go online with the series and use it to share information on COVID-19.On the first day of the lockdown, some 200 particpants tuned in to listen to a highly topical and clear presentation by UKZN COVID-19 ‘war room’ member, Dr Richard Lessells. Lessells’s talk tackled the issue of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and provided both a local and global perspective. Read more & watch the video recording of Prof Lessell’s talk here:

ASSAf Member, Prof Wolfgang Preiser, Head of the Division of Medical Virology Stellenbosch University & NHLS Tygerberg & his clinical colleagues have had 2 letters on #COVID-19 accepted by The South African Medical Journal, SAMJ. The letters relate to socialdistancing & optimising the influenza vaccination to reduce the risk of a ‘double hit’.  

Covid 19 - SciELO

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Statements published by the South African Young Academy of Sciences

How has the world changed? Urban Health, first video series discussion with Prof Tolu Oni with INGSA -  

Easing the lockdown and identifying the “at risk” regions, article by SAYAS Member, Prof Pradeep Kumar -    

Food for thought: Sustaining nutritional resources throughout the crisis, by Prof Pradeep Kumar - 

The South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) translated the general health messaging around the virus into the local languages from English. These are in Sepedi, Tshivenda, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho, Northern Sesotho, siSwati and Xitsonga and a few more for dominant migrant groupings in SA - Shona, Swahili, Portuguese, Lingala and French. These have been disseminated mainly online through SAYAS social media platforms -Twitter and Facebook feeds and by SAYAS members. Access these at:

Prof Alex Broadbent (University of Johannesburg) explores why a one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 could have lethal consequences -
A/Prof Willie Chinyamurindi (University of Fort Hare) writes on Five ways academics can manage COVID-19 shutdowns -

The Global Young Academy (GYA) released a global message from young scientists on COVID-19. It delivers specific recommendations for governments, the public, and young researchers Access:


Coronavirus: never been a more compelling time for African scientists to work together, article co-authored by TWAS Young Affiliate, Prof Collet Dandara - 

Statement on COVID-19 –


Statements by other stakeholders

Keynote: The role of science and of science funders in the time of the COVID 19 crisis, webinar with keynote by Sir Peter Gluckman -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Find the link to the survey on COVID-19:


Science Diplomacy Covid Presentation

COVID-19: to test or not to test, article by Dr Doyin Odubanjo, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) -

The biggest threats to Nigeria managing COVID-19: panic, politics and indecision, article by Dr Doyin Odubanjo Executive Secretary, Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS)-

OWSD-SA member and Stellenbosch University researcher, Caroline Pule joins CrowdFight Covid-19 initiative -

CSIR (entity of DSI), has been commissioned by the DoH to set up a COVID-19 data platform/warehouse to monitor the current geographic spread of the disease, current cases, health vulnerabilities, and location of health and other facilities, among others.

The Conversation - Why do we feel so driven to help each other

Department of Health - Corona Training Slides

IAP Covid_Communique





Five ways academics can manage COVID-19 shutdowns-

 In the fight against coronavirus, antivirals are as important as a vaccine. Here’s where the science is up to-

New smaller coronavirus testing kits 'could deliver quicker results

Senegal: 10-minute coronavirus test may be on its way - for $1-

Mobilising resources against the COVID-19 pandemic -

Coronavirus: first person injected with trial vaccine -

South Africans stuck in Peru lockdown told to ‘hang in there’ -

UP MakerSpace Centre producing 3D visor frames for facial shields for healthcare workers -

Four major international data organizations join forces to optimize the research data ecosystem, launching a COVID-19 appeal as their first joint action -

Government sets up a COVID-19 situational analysis system -

Chinese Enterprises and Communities in South Africa Donates Cash and Kind to Firmly Support South Africa Fighting Against the COVID-19 -

Trial drug can significantly block early stages of COVID-19 in engineered human tissues -