Discovery claims data reveals ’emergent’ Covid-19 hotspots in South Africa

South Africa’s largest private medical aid, Discovery Medical Scheme is sending notices to clients on the emergent hotspots for Covid-19 infections, using real-time claims data.

“Given the large, national footprint of our membership base and in order to support you with more information to stay safe during Covid-19, we are communicating on the emergent hotspots for Covid-19 infections using real-time claims data,” it said.

“We analyse our data across the country, at a district level, to ensure that we can provide you with regular updates on how the pandemic is progressing in your area.”

Discovery said that a client’s membership claims information, as well as their residential address on its system, are used to inform when they will receive these hotspot notifications.

The financial services company defines a ‘hotspot’ as the having the following:

  • At least two new infections per day on average for prior seven days;
  • At least 50 cumulative cases;
  • Either 5% Compound Growth Rate (CGR) over the prior 7 days (doubling time of two weeks or less)/Or at least 30 new cases per 100,000 Discovery lives over the prior 7 days (high attack rate)

The group highlighted the following areas of concern below.

It should be noted that this is not a comprehensive list and is based on Discovery’s own client data. You can find the government’s coronavirus data here.

Eastern Cape

  • East London
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Queenstown
  • Uitenhage
  • Umtata
  • Zwelitsha

Free State

  • Bloemfontein


  • Alberton
  • Benoni
  • Boksburg
  • Brakpan
  • Bronkhorstspruit
  • Germiston
  • Heidelberg
  • Johannesburg
  • Kempton Park
  • Krugersdorp
  • Oberholzer
  • Pretoria
  • Randburg
  • Randfontein
  • Roodepoort
  • Soshanguve
  • Soweto
  • Springs
  • Vanderbijlpark
  • Vereeniging
  • Westonaria
  • Wonderboom


  • Chatsworth
  • Durban
  • Inanda
  • Lower Umfolozi
  • New Hanover
  • Pinetown


  • Witbank

North West

  • Brits
  • Ga-Rankuwa
  • Potchefstroom
  • Rustenburg

Western Cape

  • Mitchells Plain
  • Vredenburg

You can find the full list of suburbs here.

Getting a bed

Discovery Health chief executive officer Ryan Noach said last week that the group will ensure a bed for all members, even if it means relocating people.

Noach told Business Day that the group will “make it their business to make sure all Discovery members get a bed if they need one”.

The Discovery Health chief executive said that they will move non-Covid-19 patients to free up ICU beds for Covid-19 patients.

Noach told MyBroadband: “In regions where the capacity of hospital beds – particularly ICU beds – comes under strain, we will do everything in our power to ensure that members who require a bed will get one, including if necessary transporting members to available beds, where safe and appropriate.

“This would of course be in the context of the practical limits and available resources of the country’s healthcare infrastructure, which is beyond our control.”

Read: 373,628 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths climb to 5,173

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Discovery claims data reveals ’emergent’ Covid-19 hotspots in South Africa