In Africa, the number of COVID-19 cases and affected countries has been increasing steadily. As of 24 April 2020, over 27,000 cases and 1,300 deaths have been reported in 52 countries. Community transmission is now widespread. The epidemic has the potential to result in substantial death and suffering in Africa due to four major factors:

1. Increased risk of transmission
2. Increased risk of infection leading to severe illness
3. Increased risk of death from severe illness
4. Increased suffering among those who survive the pandemic.

This guidance document addresses how physical distancing (referred to in previous guidance documents as ‘social distancing’) can help slow down transmission.

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