The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
So, we go into lockdown at midnight. Confined to barracks for 21 days. Some wags are calling it their three-week jail sentence. That’s just silly. In reality, this is South Africa’s best chance of avoiding a catastrophe. For a country with millions on HIV and TB medication, the Covid-19 threat is very real.
Discovery’s Ron Whelan has been on the case for two and a half months and is supportive of the way SA’s Government is doing what it can to be ahead of the curve. Featuring on yesterday’s Inside Covid-19 podcast, he explained that if left unchecked, this highly contagious disease expands at a rate of 30% a day.
Most of us struggle to get our heads around what that kind of exponential growth means. A spreadsheet quickly shows one that from SA’s current 709 infections, without lockdown we’d be at over 225,000 infections by April 16. And 9m by the end of that month. Forget ICU beds. There wouldn’t be enough cemeteries to bury our dead.
But with this lockdown, SA has a very real chance of repeating the successes of China and South Korea where strict isolation flattened the growth curve, keeping the total infections down to their current 81,000 and 9,000 respectively. President Cyril Ramaphosa has done his bit. The rest of us now need to do ours.
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Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.