South Africa projected to have 408,000 coronavirus cases by mid-July

Data published in a report from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) projects that South Africa could have 300,000 additional coronavirus cases within the next three weeks – and deaths could triple.

The NICD published projections by the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC) on June 12. The model projects that if testing patterns remain unchanged there may be more than 408,000 detected cases by mid-July.

The cumulative number of deaths by mid-July is expected to be 7,440 (with the forecast range of 3,610 to 14,000).

The NICD warned that due to the rapidly changing nature of the outbreak globally and in South Africa, the projections will need to be updated regularly and should be interpreted with caution.

Minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday evening that there are now 111,796 total cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

This is an increase of 5,688 cases from 106,108 cases reported on Tuesday, and a new 24-hour record.

The minister announced 103 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total up to 2,205, and a mortality rate of 2%, while recoveries increased to 56,874, which translates to a recovery rate of 50.9%.

The report stresses that not all active cases will require healthcare.

“A substantial proportion of infections (75%) are assumed to be asymptomatic or very mildly ill such that they would not require an outpatient care visit and would be very unlikely to seek Covid testing.

“Approximately 96% of active symptomatic cases are predicted to be mildly ill, with only a fraction of those seeking outpatient care or Covid testing.

“Therefore, large case numbers do not necessarily present a large burden on the health system. As has been the experience of many countries around the world, the vast majority of Covid-19 cases will show no or mild symptoms,” the report reads.

While the Western Cape remains the epicentre for Covid-19 in the country, accounting for around half of all cases, Gauteng MEC for Health, Dr Bandile Masuku, on Thursday (25 June) warned of the massive jump in new infections in the province over the past week.

Masuku pointed out that infections have climbed from 15,898 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the province, to 26,126. Gauteng accounts for just over 23% of all infections in the country.

Dr Masuku also said that the province has a backlog of 30,000 but added that this will be resolved by next week.

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South Africa projected to have 408,000 coronavirus cases by mid-July