SA faces up to 48 000 Covid-19 deaths by November

20 May 2020

According to projections from a modelling consortium (co-ordinated by scientists at the National Institutes for Communicable Diseases) advising the government the pandemic, deaths may reach up to 48 000 by November and the country could run out of ICU beds as early as June.

Until now the government has refused to disclose any details of the epidemic models that have guided its decisions.

Under the optimistic scenario, the hard lockdown reduced transmissibility of the coronavirus by 60%, the level 4 lockdown to May 31 reduced it by 35% and social distancing measures after that cut it by 20%. Under the pessimistic scenario, the hard lockdown reduced transmissibility by 40%, level 4 reduced it by 25% and social distancing by 10%. The model was adjusted weekly as more information and data became available.