During a briefing on Monday evening, Zweli Mkhize outlined how coronavirus cases in South Africa compared to some of the world's worst-affected places.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize chaired a meeting of experts and industry professionals on Monday evening, running through some of the more eye-catching facts and figures from this coronavirus pandemic. South Africa has become a source of interest to the rest of the world, and our comparative caseload explains why.
How South Africa’s coronavirus cases compare to the rest of the world
Six weeks after our first case was reported, there are little over 2 000 coronavirus patients to report in Mzansi. Whether this is down to low testing numbers or another extraordinary factor, South Africa’s trajectory simply doesn’t match anything that was predicted. In fact, our curve is completely unique.
These two graphs are essential in understanding the effectiveness of a nationwide lockdown – and the benefit of taking decisive action early doors. President Ramaphosa introduced the stay-at-home measures before a coronavirus death had been reported in SA. And, when compared to the COVID-19 hot spots, things look relatively rosy:
SA vs UK coronavirus cases
As it stands, the UK is one of the worst affected countries in the world. Our comparison with Britain shows the benefits of a stricter lockdown and an immediate response. Initially on the same trajectory, our fortunes changed dramatically after we were told to stay indoors. To all intents and purposes, SA is an example-setter.
Will South Africa avoid the worst of COVID-19? Sadly not…
Although the data is in our favour, the odds of avoiding an exponential rise in coronavirus cases are not. Once lockdown ends – and it has to, in order to prevent a full-scale economic collapse – South Africans will be “at high risk” of catching the disease, with the peak predicted in September.
Lockdown restrictions serve to buy the government vital time in responding to this global health crisis, allowing them to bolster health resources and prepare for a “new normal”. We have a delayed exponential curve, and although the worst is yet to come, South Africa will be better equipped to handle a crisis.
“We won’t avoid an exponential spread of the disease – the very worst of the epidemic – unless SA has a special protective factor not present anywhere else in the world. Our population will be at high risk again after the lockdown.”
“Infectiousness period includes 4-7 days before symptoms, so people can spread it without knowing. The virus spreads too fast normally. Government interventions have slowed viral spread, the curve has been impacted and we have gained some time.”
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) April 13, 2020
Source: The South African Read More