South Africa risks getting 1 Million infections and 40 000 deaths

indafrica May 20, 2020
Updated 2020/05/20 at 8:15 AM

JOHANNESBURG – The data modeling team looking at the progression of COVID-19 in South Africa have outlined a possible outcome that may see the country record 40,000 deaths and a million infections by the end of this year.

They also say the death toll could top 400 at the end of this month with 30,000 infections.

Currently, 17,200 cases have been registered after a daily increase of 767 cases.

The modelers have been tracking the spread of the coronavirus and have made it clear that their results are not perfect predictions for the future.

Instead, they present what could happen and how the information can be used to help health authorities make smarter interventions.

After President Cyril Ramaphosa committed to transparency last week, the Department of Health has shared projections it’s relying on to understand the trajectory of the virus.

Dr Sheetal Silal of the Modeling and Simulation Hub explains an optimistic scenario for the short term.

“We do project that by the end of May, that there will be 30,000 detected cases. We are estimating that by the end of the month, the accumulative death projection will be 475.”

The long-term projections show that the country may see 40,000 deaths and almost 100,000 infections by November.

So given these projections, how ready is our health system, and do we have enough ICU beds?

“The threshold of ICU beds are projected to be exceeded and they are projected to be exceeded quite early on in the pandemic,” Silal said.
The projections suggest the lockdown has reduced transmissibility by 60% while the current level 4 will reduce it by 35%.


• Confirmed cases since the virus was first detected in SA now stands at 17,200
• 61% of those cases are in the Western Cape
• Another 26 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours – bringing the national total to 312
• 7,960 people are listed as recovered
• 488,609 people have been tested in total, with 13,538 of those tests conducted in the last 24 hours
• Globally, 4.87m people are confirmed to have contracted the virus, 321,000 have died as a result, and more than 1,6 million are listed as recovered.

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