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Proceedings of the round table "The impact of COVID-19 on the elderly: an Italian-South African perspective".



Proceedings of the round table

The Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAf) and the Embassy of Italy in South Africa held a virtual round table on the social, psychological and health impact of COVID-19 on the elderly on 7th July 2020 as part of the ASSAf-Embassies Lecture Series.

The event was opened by Professor Jonathan Jansen, President of ASSAf, and by the Ambassador of Italy to South Africa, Paolo Cuculi, and was moderated by Professor Priscilla Reddy, Executive Vice Director of Human Science Research Council, South Africa. The speakers were Professor Emanuele Nicastri, Scientific Director of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases Lazzaro Spallanzani, Italy, Professor Ashraf Kagee from the University of Stellenbosch, Professor Fabrizia Lattanzio, Scientific Director of the National Institute for Health and Ageing Science, and Professor Margie Schneider from the University of Cape Town.

During the event some recommendations on COVID-19 and future epidemics were made:

The COVID-19 epidemic should be used as a model for building a new approach to work with further epidemics globally.The focus should not only be limited to the clinical features of COVID-19 infection but the contrast to the pandemic should implement a holistic approachThe emotional well-being of elderly people is often overlooked and requires urgent attention. It is important to find ways of providing social, psychological and emotional support for elderly people.It is important to balance risks and find ways to maximise prevention and well-being.

For more information and insights about the event and the topic it deals with, it is available here the proceedings report of the event.