VMMC in South Africa: COVID-19's impact

Health authorities and organisations conducting voluntary medical male circumcision in South Africa say the numbers of men and boys being medically circumcised have dropped dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, Spotlight reports. Provision of VMMCs and other elective surgeries was suspended during a nationwide COVID-related lockdown in March 2020. With the easing of the lockdown, the suspension was lifted in late June, but only for a low volume of male circumcisions in areas that are not COVID-19 hotspots. Data from the National Department of Health show that in the first three quarters of 2020, 111,766 VMMCs were conducted in South Africa, compared to 411,063 in the first three quarters of 2019 — a 73% decline [Spotlight, 25 November 2020].