CAPE TOWN, South Africa —
When Cape Town emerged as Africa’s first coronavirus hot spot, Dr. Abu Mowlana was surprised by the fear that broke out among his colleagues.

Morale was crashing among doctors and nurses at Tygerberg Hospital even as infections surged in May and June, recalled Mowlana, one of the senior doctors leading the COVID-19 response there. The staff at the city’s largest hospital soon was fighting two battles: one against their own fear and another against the new disease that was killing their patients.

“It’s scary for the public but it’s scary for all of…



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