SA’s COVID-19 deaths to be similar to country's road death toll – Panda

Pandemic Data and Analytics (Panda) said a countrywide peak in COVID-19 deaths could be expected from late July to August.

FILE: Teams of field workers in Ekurhuleni District, Glen Marikana Informal settlement to form part of the screening and testing campaign aimed to combat the spread of COVID-19 on 17 April 2020. Pictures: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Pandemic Data and Analytics (Panda) on Sunday said South Africa could expect to see the same number of COVID-19 deaths this year compared to the country’s annual road fatalities of between 10,000 to 15,000.

Panda said in the Western Cape alone, between 44 and 59 deaths could be expected daily during the peak of the pandemic.

The province, which is the country’s COVID-19 epicentre, is expected to reach this peak in the coming weeks.

Panda studied COVID-19’s global death trajectories and by applying local data to a mathematical curve, analysts were able to plot the progression of new cases and deaths to make short-term predictions.

BulkSMS.com CEO and Panda member, Piet Streicher, pointed out there were always external factors that could change this trajectory.

“We work with a rolling average over several days to get that average fatality. We believe that that average will peak at below 59,” Streicher said.

Streicher said South Africa was likely to have less fatalities when compared to similar-sized European countries.

“Italy is likely to end at about 35,000 deaths and we will have significantly less deaths. At this stage, there is a lot of uncertainties but I’m personally taking it at a range between 10,000 and 15,000 deaths,” he said.

Panda said a countrywide peak in COVID-19 deaths could be expected from late July to August.

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