The South African lockdown restrictions may only be lifted somewhere between the end of June and the end of August, according to Rapport newspaper.
The newspaper quoting a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said new COVID-19 infections in South Africa will only peak at the beginning of June.
The National Coronavirus Command Council decided to enforce a 21-day nation-wide lockdown with effect from midnight Thursday 26 March 2020, until midnight on Thursday 16 April 2020.
In a televised address to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the lockdown is necessary in order to save lives in light of the Coronavirus.
Last week, Ramaphosa said in his weekly letter that it is now abundantly clear that the most effective way for a society to contain the spread of the disease is for the population to remain at home and physically isolated from each other for at least several weeks.
“And it is important that this lockdown and all other emergency measures are both strictly adhered to and consistently enforced.”
Furthermore, Netcare, one of South Africa’s largest private hospital groups, said it is fully supportive of the 21-day nationwide lockdown in order to ‘flatten the curve’ and lower the communal spread of COVID-19.
“However, our modelling suggests that, as has been experienced in other countries and depending on the effectiveness of the lockdown, it will require on-going evaluation to determine if the time period is sufficient to achieve its intended goals.”
Netcare has spent R150 million to enhance the readiness of its ICU/High Care facilities, including purchasing additional ventilators, ultraviolet light disinfection robots and specialised air filters to ensure appropriate disinfection measures. For more read: Netcare Will Treat COVID-19 Public Patients in its Facilities
More than two billion people around the world are in some form of lockdown or self-isolation.
In South Africa, the situation remains extremely concerning given the levels of population density in certain geographical areas, a factor which is further exacerbated by the significant proportion of the population who are immune-compromised.
As we enter the winter season in which approximately 19% of South Africans contract Influenza or the Flu virus, the situation may worsen.
A BCG working document from more than a week ago, illustrating one scenario of how the COVID-19 virus might progress, has been circulating publicly without context or authorization from BCG. As clearly stated throughout the document, the presentation is not intended to constitute or substitute for medical or safety advice. Nor should it be seen as a formal endorsement of or recommendation for a particular response. The scenario and projections contained in the document vary by 100-1,000x, and reflect one range of possible outcomes, with clear recognition of how things may unfold differently.
This document does not represent an official BCG view and has not been authorized for public or media release by BCG. Press outlets citing the document have subsequently run corrections to clarify the above.
In supporting our clients in public and private sectors, BCG regularly does scenario planning for a range of issues. We analyze internally and externally gathered data to formulate these scenarios, and the data requires daily updates, given how fast the situation is changing.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented humanitarian and economic crisis. BCG continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19, and our priority remains the health and well-being of our people, our clients, and the communities where we operate. We are committed to doing our part to contribute—and will stand by and support our private and public sector clients throughout this crisis.