The latest data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that in 2020 an estimated 1.4-m fewer people from 80 countries received care for tuberculosis due to the COVID-19 pandemic than in 2019. SA is among the countries with the biggest relative gap in care-receiving for tuberculosis (TB), at 41%; Indonesia at 42%; and the Philippines at 37%.

South Africa is also ranked as one of the top 20 countries in terms of TB burden over the past two decades. Globally, it is estimated that the Covid-19 pandemic has set back the fight against TB by between five and eight years and could result in an additional 6.3-m cases of TB between 2020 and 2025.

TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers, with nearly 4 000 people losing their lives each day.

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