The series of Covid-19 Country Report Validation Workshops continued 31 May and 3 June. This DPME/GTAC research initiative, supported by over 80 NRF rated scientists, aims to record and offer a chronological story of the unfolding pandemic. The authors, from local and international universities, spent the past year analysing all available Covid-19 related data, and conducted interviews with 18 of the Director-Generals of national government departments. The 17 chapters or sub-chapters in the First Edition Covid-19 Country Report, will be published in June 2021, and the series of four Validation Workshops offered a platform for the authors to share their findings and solicit inputs from a wider audience. All the chapters are also peer reviewed in the process, and duplications and possible overlaps identified.

The authors on Monday 31 May presented the chapters dealing with social and human development responses to the pandemic, and readers from government and academia offered responses. Professor Vimolan Mudaly presented the findings of the team working on educationand Professor Coleen Vogel and Tim Köhler shared the analyses done in the chapter on the impact of Covid-19 on vulnerable groupsDr Catherine Ndinda, supported by Dr Benita Moolman presented the chapter on gender equitywhile a team led by Janet Jobson spoke to the experience and response from civil societyThursday 3 June hosted a further three chapters, with Martina Della Togna sharing the work of the communications teamand Professors Mosa Moshabela and Sabiha Essack presenting the chapter dealing with health-related issues. Lastly, Professor Danny Bradlow and his team spoke to international cooperation and trade. All the edited chapters, data and presentations are available on the dedicated Covid-19 Country Report webpage.

DPME aims to publish and table to Cabinet the consolidated First Edition of the Covid-19 Country Report by end June 2021.