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Despite any data lags and glitches the Covid-19 numbers are high, says NICD prof

14 January 2021 11:15 AM
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Covid-19 data

Lags 'don't change the overall picture we are currently seeing with regard to the different provinces,' says NICD's Prof Puren.

Recent Covid-19 infections and mortality data released in South Africa has shown quite large variations in numbers.

One of the key ways for us to tackle the coronavirus is to know exactly where the hotspots are and respond accordingly.

But what if the figures that we rely on the gauge how bad infections rates are, are in fact inaccurate or delayed?

Surely that impacts our response?

So what do we then make of those figures that came out of KZN a few days ago? Officials there said the number of active cases in the province dropped from over 93,000 on Monday to just over 66,000 cases in 24 hours.

To help us understand the impact of the numbers on our response, and their accuracy in reflecting Covid in SA, I am joined by Prof Adrian Puren, acting executive director at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

Sometimes there are these data glitches but they do correct themselves. So yes, there are lags with regard to data that come through, especially some of the laboratory data...as well as some of the mortality data.

Prof Adrian Puren, Acting Executive Director - NICD

Puren says there may be delays in the reporting systems which are in place.

These do self-correct, but I don't think they then change the overall picture that we are currently seeing with regard to the different provinces.

Prof Adrian Puren, Acting Executive Director - NICD

He refers to the numbers from KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng

When you look at KZN and Gauteng you can definitely see that the trajectory, even though there may be some lags,

Prof Adrian Puren, Acting Executive Director - NICD

Analysts smooth out that curve to cater for these changes using what is termed 7-day rolling averages he explains.

But you can definitely see a marked exponential and very steep rise in the cases of KZN and Gauteng, and the active numbers of cases there are fairly substantial.

Prof Adrian Puren, Acting Executive Director - NICD

The numbers in the Eastern and Western Cape by contrast, while still high, are starting to level off, notes Puren.

He says there are some concerns about other provinces such as Northern Cape and Limpopo showing a rise in cases, albeit still small numbers at this stage.

Though still small, we need to be concerned about those numbers as well.

Prof Adrian Puren, Acting Executive Director - NICD

Listen to the interview with Prof Puren below:


14 January 2021 11:15 AM
Tags:
nicd
COVID-19
Covid-19 data

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