South Africa: 'We Have Lost So Much and So Many' - Nelson Mandela Bay's Head of Disaster Management On Covid-19

The now closed Khayelitsha Field Hospital developed by MSF to support the nearby Khayelitsha District Hospital to cope with the pressures of peak COVID-19 transmission in the Western Cape (file photo).
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As Nelson Mandela Bay, a metro hard hit by Covid-19, turns a corner and sees a rapid decline in new infections, the head of the joint operations committee and the municipality's head of disaster management, Shane Brown, still sees the city reeling under the burden of loss.

It is the people, reeling from loss and scrambling to survive, that the head of Nelson Mandela Bay's disaster management and the head of the joint operations committee, Shane Brown, will remember most when he thinks back to the pandemic of 2020.

"I have been in disaster management for 30 years and never before was I called on to handle anything like this," Brown said. "The scale of loss of lives, of livelihood, of experiences remains very big."

"It has become a year of loss. Everywhere people lost so many things. Even in my own family my aunt turned 100 and had no party. My mom turned 80. So many school kids, especially those in Grade 12, have lost a year. There were no first-team rugby, cricket and soccer matches to celebrate. Many young people lost their dreams.

"So many people lost their livelihoods. I never realised how many people in our city...

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