Researches reveal that South Africa (S.A) has some of the best data collection capabilities on the continent yet the truth of the statistics on people who die from Covid-19 that the nation presents is being questioned.
Some observers do not believe the death rate for Covid-19 patients in the country which stands 1.4% compared with 15% in the United Kingdom (U.K).
They argue against beliefs that the low fatality may be due to a relatively young population or that Africans enjoy some special immunity.
The observers say they rather analyse fatality rates for confirmed virus patients in South Africa’s major hospitals which are almost exactly the same as those in Italy or the U.K.
The research says when you broaden the statistical pool beyond hospital admissions, then every country and every province is using fundamentally different criteria and different methods.
University of Witwatersrand vaccine expert, Professor Shabir Madhi said the contradiction becomes meaningless, pointing out that so little testing is happening across the rest of the continent that it is impossible to draw any useful conclusions or comparisons.
His hunch is that – as with the Swine flu pandemic of 2009 – we will only know the virus’ true impact in Africa in several years.
One of the safest things to do in SA now is to heed the President’s salient warning. “”The storm is upon us… After all, wars – the virus analogy favoured by many global leaders – tend to end, whereas the weather will always be with us and so, perhaps, will this coronavirus.
In the absence of a vaccine, herd immunity, or significant behavioural change, several experts have told me they believe South Africa may have to treat Covid-19 the same way it has handled TB (which still kills some 200 people every day here) and HIV, and learn to live with the virus on a long-term basis”.