VIDEO : How social distancing can 'flatten the curve'

Flattening the curve through social distancing.

Flattening the curve through social distancing.

Published Mar 23, 2020


CAPE TOWN - For the first time since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, China reported no new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began in Wuhan.

South Africa confirmed its first Covid-19 case on the 5th of March which means in two weeks the numbers have escalated to over 200.

The government has suggested that everyone practices social distancing and self-isolation for those who may have been exposed to a person with the virus or if they have travelled to a country with a high local transmission.

The push for social distancing will help to ‘flatten the curve’, in other words slow the rate of infection over a period of time.

What is the ‘curve’?

A steep curve depicts what a rapid global pandemic looks like. A lot of new infections in a short amount of time.

Countries are finding ways to flatten this curve. If the curve ‘flattens’ it means the rate of new cases has been lowered and is spread out over a longer period of time.

The South African healthcare system will only be able to handle the pandemic if the curve ‘flattens’. Once the infection rate slows down, hospitals and medical professionals will be able to operate under less pressure. This way, there is a larger chance for infected people to be treated and recover.

How can we ‘flatten the curve’?

Social distancing will exponentially decrease the rate at which the virus spreads. Washing and sanitising your hands and not touching your face remains on top of the recommended practices to slow down the infection rate.

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