South Africa: Lockdown Has Saved Thousands, Death Toll Could Have Been 8 Times Higher - Ramaphosa

A graph from the South African presidency's Twitter feed, with the caption: :There is clear evidence that the lockdown has allowed us to achieve our objective of delaying the spread of Covid-19 & avoiding a massive surge in infections that would have overwhelmed our health care system."

The past seven weeks of lockdown has saved 1 752 lives - 35 people per day.

This was the calculation presented to the nation on Wednesday by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his first public address since 23 April.

He began with the plea that "despite its duration and severity, the lockdown we imposed was absolutely necessary".

"Without the lockdown, the number of coronavirus infections would have soared uncontrollably. Our health facilities would have been overwhelmed and many thousands of South Africans would have died."

However, moments later, Ramaphosa appeared to give a different figure.

He said: "There have been several projections about the possible path the disease would have taken without our swift and decisive action.


"As more data has become available, these projections have been updated and refined. The best current estimate is that without the lockdown and other measures we have taken at least, they say, 80 000 South Africans could have been infected by now. And the death toll could have been at least eight times higher than what it is at the moment."

The current death toll was 219 which, multiplied by eight, totalled 1 752 lives saved, according to the president's data.

Ramaphosa added: "This coronavirus is taking a heavy toll not only on the health of our people but also our people's ability to earn a living, to feed themselves and their families to learn and develop - and enjoy many of the basic freedoms that we take for granted."

Source: News24

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.