- The lockdown and its extension has pushed back the worst-case scenario to September
- Government projections reveal that the decision has delayed peak Covid-19 infections to July
- While the economy is paying the price, SA now has two more months to prepare for the increase in cases
The decision to extend the national lockdown in the face of the coronavirus pandemic has bought the government some time.
News24 reports that a government projection reveals the worst-case scenario has now been postponed to September.
Had the lockdown not been implemented, SA was expected to hit peak infections in July. While the lockdown has brought the economy to a grinding halt, the state has been given two months extra to prepare for a flood of infections.
This scenario predicts that Gauteng would exceed 1.5 million infections, with KwaZulu-Natal expected to hit 1 million.
The number of ventilators needed is more than double the amount on hand. Critical care hospital beds are also deemed too little to deal with the outbreak, with South Africa only having just over 3 000 while 7 000 is needed.
This prediction was informed by research from the University of Cape Town's Modelling and Simulation Hub Africa, estimating that the peak would have been in August if the lockdown hadn't been put into place.
Briefly.co.za reported that Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize had noted the number of cases seen had been far less than originally predicted, indicating that the lockdown had worked to curb the spread of the virus.
While South Africa has thus far managed to avoid the dire situation seen in other countries, Mkhize warns that it is too soon to relax.
President Cyril Ramaphosa had made it exceedingly transparent that the extension had been put into place to limit the loss of life.
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