MODELLING CONSORTIUM (PROJECTIONS)
The purpose of this report is to project estimated COVID-19 cases at national and provincial.
The South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium was established to project the spread of the disease to support policy and planning in South Africa over the coming months. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the outbreak globally and in South Africa, the projections are updated regularly as new data become available. As such, projections should be interpreted with caution. Changes in testing policy, contact tracing, and hospitalisation criteria will all impact the cases detected as well as the number of hospital admissions and deaths that can be positively identified as associated with COVID-19.
Our updated projections show the following:
- The COVID-19 pandemic peaked in mid-July, earlier and at a lower total number of active cases than in our optimistic scenario published in May.
- The model estimates that there have been 15.20 million infections to date, equating to 25.5% (uncertainty range: 22.0%-28.6%) of the population.
- Since testing guidelines and practices change, we estimate cumulative detected cases under two scenarios
i) moderate testing coverage as implemented in May and June, and
ii) a more limited testing coverage policy that prioritises testing in hospitalised cases and in healthcare workers. Under the moderate testing scenario, cumulative detected cases will continue to grow until 1.2 million in early November, and only marginally so thereafter. Whereas only about 567,500 cases (447,800-707,100) were estimated to be detected under limited testing, the actual number of detected cases has already surpassed the median of the limited testing scenario and will likely end up lying somewhere between these two scenarios.
- The peak number of general hospital (i.e., non-ICU) beds in use was estimated to be reached in early-August, at around 8,000 beds (when around 12,500 beds would have been needed). The peak number of ICU beds in use was estimated to be reached