South Africa’s Townships Are Worried …

When South African president Cyril Rhamaphosa announced a three week lockdown on 23 March, he acknowledged that his country is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

The virus, he said, is “extremely dangerous for a population like ours, with a large number of people with suppressed immunity because of HIV and TB, and high levels of poverty and malnutrition.” About a quarter of South Africans live in townships – in cramped, unsanitary conditions, rife with health problems.

Since the lockdown began last week, images of police and army brutality have been circulating on social media. That worries Pamela more than catching the virus. “We are not afraid of Corona. We are afraid of the soldiers around us.”

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