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BizNews welcomes a diverse range of viewpoints on the issues affecting our lives. In this piece, a medical specialist picks up on what many believe is an over-reaction by governments to containing Covid-19. – Editor
By Dr Roy Breeds
I am a medical specialist and I wanted to share what I feel are important insights into Covid-19 and SARS-CoV-2. I am not an infectious diseases specialist or epidemiologist and these are my personal inferences based on my own scientific reading.
For some time I have been, and still remain, deeply concerned about the extreme and continued over-reaction to the coronavirus and the terrible harm this over-reaction (and not the virus itself) is causing to most, if not all, South Africans.
There are important scientific viewpoints about Covid-19 expressed by the below-mentioned scientists (amongst others) and these viewpoints are not receiving the media attention they deserve. Their expert scientific opinions, if widely heard, would profoundly change most people’s perceptions about Covid-19. Exploring these scientists’ opinions would give one far greater insight into the disease and allow one to better understand the generally mild benign nature of the condition.
In essence, the essential points about Covid-19 which are being overlooked, and unheard, by most people are the following:
- The coronavirus has a very low infection fatality rate (a very low chance of dying) – about the same as seasonal influenza.
- The initial Imperial College model was fundamentally flawed in its assumptions and incorrectly came up with an excessively high mortality rate. The initial WHO mortality rate was also falsely high. This high mortality rate has not been experienced by any other country to date, nor will it occur in South Africa (it is important to note that these high mortality rates were incorrect from the outset and were never going to happen, so it is not because of lockdown measures that mortality is reduced, but it is the initial projections that were falsely high).
- 99% of cases are mild or asymptomatic. These cases are going on all around us all the time and go unnoticed.
- We must not be overwhelmed by fear. With the added horror spread by some media sources, many people are very fearful and afraid to venture out, and these people need to be reassured that this virus is not going to kill them – that it doesn’t have a higher chance of killing them than seasonal flu.
- Counting case numbers is of no value. Only the number of daily deaths allow one to track the epidemic.
- Calculating the mortality rate using deaths divided by confirmed cases is incorrect and gives a falsely high mortality rate since the denominator used is too low.
- Lockdowns have no effect on overall mortality due to coronavirus.
- When lockdowns are lifted, there is not an inevitable significant spike in infections (since a substantial proportion of the population have already been infected) – instead the trajectory of the epidemic is similar across all affected countries and indicative of the buildup of population immunity.
- The relaxed strategy used by Sweden is sufficient.
Many eminent and esteemed scientists have highlighted the above points, including the following: Professor Johan Giesecke (Sweden), Professor Sunetra Gupta (Oxford), Professor John Ioannidis (Stanford), Professor Michael Levitt (Stanford), Professor Hendrik Streeck (Bonn), Professor Karl Friston (University College London).
To broaden one’s perspective on coronavirus epidemiology, it would be invaluable to refer to the above scientists. There are many written articles by them; as well as interviews available on YouTube. Maybe it would be possible for you to consider conducting an interview with one of them. These scientists appear to be unheard, yet they are seeing where everyone else went wrong.
When the dust finally settles on this pandemic and people look back, the above points and views of the above scientists will, in my opinion, be widely accepted as having been correct all along, but by then the damage of the lockdowns and over-reaction to this virus will be irreversible.
Thank you for reading and considering the content of my email. I am writing to you in the hope that you may conduct your own enquiry, and then, assuming you find the content of my email plausible, that you may consider propagating these different viewpoints on your media platforms.
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