CAPE TOWN -
The Western Cape government has been busy preparing for the worst as forecasts projected the peak for infections and deaths at the end of June, beginning of July 2020.
However, the numbers continue to increase and stand at 66 195 infections, 1 969 deaths and a total of 47 924 recoveries.
The initial projection was done in April, looked at international trends and factored in the country’s population size and epidemiological assumptions. The planning could not be based on real data as there wasn't any at the time.
“We wanted this to be as credible as possible and partnered with two expert associations - the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA), and the National Covid-19 Modelling Consortium and recalibrated the provisioning scenario using the new data available,” said Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.
“A peak towards the beginning of July 2020, that was notably steeper than our original provisioning scenario. This peak, however, was not as steep as the ASSA model.
“As a result, there was a requirement of approximately 7 800 beds at the peak of the pandemic. We had previously worked on a 6 200-bed requirement,” he said.
Winde added that while the new data allows them to project more accurately, that it is not a perfect science. Meanwhile, the provinces’ operational field hospitals and private sector capacity is adequate and the expansion of the CTICC 2 Hospital of Hope will not proceed
“The peak in the Western Cape seems to be later than was originally projected and is likely to take place from the end of July to beginning of August.
“This peak is also flatter than was originally projected. This means that we will not have as many hospitalisations and deaths at the peak as we originally thought,” said Winde.
“However, this flatter trajectory would last for longer. This means potentially more cumulative deaths of approximately 10 000 people during the pandemic.
“The virus could be with us for longer than we thought, with this first peak only ending towards the end of November,” he added.
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