Government models predict over 40,000 coronavirus deaths for SA this year

Picture: iStock

The government has released its modelling projections publicly to show how they are planning for the outbreak.

The data modelling team looking at the spread of  Covid-19 in South Africa have detailed a scenario that could see the country record more than 40,000 deaths and a million infections by November.

At the peak rate of infections, likely around early July to early August, there is a possibility that hospital beds could be overwhelmed in the worst case of events they believe.

The South African Covid-19 modelling consortium have been tracking the spread of the coronavirus and have also made it clear that their results are not perfect predictions for the future.

According to their projections, as many as 90,000 hospital beds will be needed to treat Covid-19 victims around the country.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize says we are currently in stage 5 of managing the pandemic, dealing with hot spots and focusing on stages 6,7,8. Zweli Mkhize/Twitter

So far it appears that different provinces will experience peak rates of infection at slightly different times, as is currently the case with the Western Cape having the most cases countrywide.

As of today, 17,200 cases have been counted nationally after a daily increase of 767 cases.

The consortium believe the lockdown has worked in that it has delayed the initial spread of the disease and bought time to prepare for the predicted peak.

They also emphasised the success of social distancing and measures like the wearing of face masks in slowing the spread of the disease.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the country’s medical response was showing signs of success in dealing with the outbreak: “Our mortality rate of 1.8% remains well below the global average, which is currently 6.6%, and our recovery rate is 42.4%, which is above the global average.

“Had we not traded freedom for time, hospitals would now be overwhelmed, and our concern would have been drawn away from saving lives by the need to excavate mass graves for those we would have lost,” he said.

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