In Episode 40 of the Inside Covid-19 podcast, ANC Top Six member Paul Mashatile tells the UK’s prestigious Chatham House that South Africa’s post pandemic economic strategy is an updated and sharpened version of the Reconstruction and Development Plan of the 1990s; Discovery’s chief actuary unpacks the relevance of South Africa’s Covid-19 Reproduction or R Rate which is around 1.5; we investigate the quest to find a rapid and cheap coronavirus test; and have a look at how Boeing and Airbus expect to make it safe to fly – without catching the virus. – Alec Hogg
In the Covid-19 headlines today:
- With mortalities having peaked in Europe and the USA, the coronavirus hot spots have shifted elsewhere. Mortalities are rising rapidly in Brazil, Mexico, India and Russia, with South America rapidly becoming the worst impacted region. Globally, the number of confirmed cases are now at almost 5.75m and deaths at 355,000, or around 6% of the case load. Belgium remains the hardest hit nation per capita with 82 deaths per 100,000 population with Spain, the UK and Italy in the 50s and France and Sweden in the 40s. In South Africa, deaths from the virus have risen above 500 after 43 more were recorded on Tuesday, second highest so far behind Monday’s 52. The mortality rate is 2.2% of the total cases reported to date of 24,264.
- Some good news, in a kind anyway, for South Africa from the epidemiologists and statisticians whose forecasts of Covid-19 infections and mortalities have been the world’s most accurate thus far. Their projections on the website covid19-projections.com estimate that South Africa will have just over 18,000 mortalities by September 1, when the virus’s impact is expected to peak. This projection is well below initial forecasts of at least 80,000 and with the virus expected to be a factor for at least the rest of the year, their projections of total deaths to Covid-19 are in line with the SA Government advisors’ recent forecast of between 40,000 and 45,000.
- Google’s Community Mobility Reports, which monitor changes in the way people have been moving around as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, shows after heavy initial compliance South Africans have been shrugging off the Government’s stay-at-home directive. Google’s analysis of South Africa, which tracks data up to mid-May, shows a significant increase in movement. Visits to shopping centres, which had dropped to less than 80% of normal in early April, had risen to only half the usual traffic by mid-May. Visits to retail stores, down by two thirds in the early stage of lockdown, has adjusted to only 22% below normal by mid May.