Timing of SA's 3rd wave crucial: 'Early wave probably less severe than 2nd wave'
South Africa is bracing for its third wave of Covid-19.
It's a difficult scenario to predict due to a range of factors like new variants emerging and the reliability of testing stats.
The most critical factor will be the timing of the third wave, according to a study released by the Actuarial Society of South Africa (Assa).
It sketches three possible scenarios of the severity of an upswing in cases, according to when this occurs.
Bruce Whitfield finds out more from actuary Adam Lowe, member of Assa's Covid-19 Working Group.
The first and most likely scenario is an early third wave that is expected to be less severe than our second wave.
It would materialise still during this month of May.
In terms of global third waves it's very early in the process... The case numbers don't really support that evidence [of the start of a third wave] yet, especially not in South Africa.Adam Lowe, Covid-19 Working Group - Actuarial Society of SA
We'll know in a week or ten days whether we are moving towards a third wave now.Adam Lowe, Covid-19 Working Group - Actuarial Society of SA
Lowe explains the correlation between the severity of a third wave and the immunity that exists in the population.
In terms of the current science the timing is important because there's an immunity period once people have had the virus and they recover.Adam Lowe, Covid-19 Working Group - Actuarial Society of SA
The shorter the period, the more potential immunity there is in the population. If we're talking about a third wave in the next month or so, that means you've still got a significant portion of the population (assuming the science is correct) that has got immunity from the virus.Adam Lowe, Covid-19 Working Group - Actuarial Society of SA
The longer we push that out, the more that immunity is going to wear out and the more uncertain the magnitude of that potential wave becomes...Adam Lowe, Covid-19 Working Group - Actuarial Society of SA
Listen to Lowe discuss the three possible scenarios for South Africa in detail:
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