SA experiences record low Covid-19 death and case numbers

21 October 2021 - This week South Africa’s confirmed Covid-19 death and case numbers fell to their lowest level since the peak of the first wave. According to Oxford University’s OurWorldInData resource, the rolling average for daily Covid-19 associated deaths has fallen below 0.6 per million and daily cases are 10 per million.

This week South Africa’s confirmed Covid-19 death and case numbers fell to their lowest level since the peak of the first wave. According to Oxford University’s OurWorldInData resource, the rolling average for daily Covid-19 associated deaths has fallen below 0.6 per million and daily cases are 10 per million.

This is undeniably good news that the public deserves to know. This data is best understood in the context of broader trends. The graph below establishes that the good news fits those trends.

A reflection on the hard facts can leave no doubt that South Africa is not currently in a “State of Disaster” due to Covid-19. However, on October 13, Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma extended the State of Disaster, which affords the executive she belongs to abnormal powers that have been repeatedly abused in irrational ways. This extension showed no regard for empirical data.

South Africa’s government must face the facts, but to do so will require pressure. The IRR is channeling that pressure through its petition to disband the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and terminate the State of Disaster, so that civil rights may be restored.

Mindful attention to the death and case trends strongly suggests that a fourth wave will strike in months. An IRR report, expanding on its earlier press briefing, will unpack evidence on the nature and scope of the expected wave, carefully parsing expected deaths from expected cases.

This report will also unpack why it is preferable to tackle the fourth wave – however advantageously death numbers are subdued by new immune protection – via mechanisms that afford parliamentary oversight rather than by letting the inept NCCC continue its pattern of irrational commands.

Vocal pressure is increasing, including from Mzwanele Manyi, spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation, who wrote after the IRR’s petition launch that “LOCKDOWN has become a political tool to destroy livelihoods and increase dependency on Government grants and to fund specific business owners. It’s a control tool. The time has come to disband the National Covid-19 Council because it is no longer science driven.”

Watch this media briefing for more detail on the IRR’s argument: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY2_B8N0xRs

Media contact: Gabriel Crouse, IRR Head of Campaigns – 082 510 0360; gabriel@irr.org.za
 
Media enquiries: Michael Morris Tel: 066 302 1968 Email: michael@irr.org.za

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