RATIONALE AND METHODOLOGY OF THE REVIEW
On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). The initial cluster of pneumonia cases were reported from Wuhan, China, in late December 2020. The cases were eventually confirmed to be due to Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV2). At the time of declaring COVID-19 a PHEIC, most of the cases were confined to China and 18 countries outside China and no cases confirmed in Africa including South Sudan. Given the risk of further internal spread, WHO recommended that countries enhance preparedness for containment, including active surveillance, early detection, isolation, and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of COVID-19. South Sudan activated the PHEOC on 3 February 2020 and established the incident management team to institute preparedness measures.
Following the confirmation of the initial COVID-19 case on 5 April 2020, subsequent cases were identified and a fully-fledged coordination framework that included the COVID-19 National Taskforce, Chaired by the Vice President, Service cluster for overall policy and strategic guidance; the National Steering Committee and its eight Technical Working Groups, Chaired by the COVID-19 Incident Manager for providing strategic and operational guidance; and the COVID-19 state Taskforce committees for coordinating the frontline implementation of recommended COVID-19 interventions.
The intent of the intra-action review (IAR) is to assess the functional capacity of the public health and emergency response systems and to identify practical areas for immediate remediation or continued improvement of the current response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The IAR entailed a qualitative review of actions taken so far to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic to identify best practices, gaps, and lessons learnt.