Official SA Covid-19 death rate projected closer to New York than Europe

Earlier this week we got our first real insight into why the SA Government is insisting on one of the longest and tightest lockdowns on earth. Its modelling team projects more than a million infections and up to 45,000 deaths – or 0.07% of SA’s 58m population.

If correct, growth will be exponential over the next few weeks considering the current 17,000 infections and 312 deaths. Prof Michael Levitt, the much-in-demand SA Nobel prize winner, said this projection looks like the US’s epicentre of New York City rather than Europe, “a scary number, likely due to population ill health.”

In an online media presentation yesterday, Discovery SA chief Hylton Kallner said Government’s numbers are not out of line with his group’s forecasts. But emphasised hospitalisation of Discovery members (412 of 1,733 Covid-19 positives) has been directly correlated with advanced age and inversely correlated to exercise.

We’ll hear later today what actuaries from PANDA have to say about these projections, given their worst case scenario for SA was almost double that. PANDA’s Nick Hudson and Peter Castleden, together with Ray Cadiz, are panelists at the Biznews Noontime Thursday webinar today. It’s free but you do need to sign up ahead of time. Register here

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