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South Africa: Covid-19 May Have Already Infected 20 Million – Professor


Up to 40% of people living in SA’s densely populated areas had probably been infected by the coronavirus, vaccinologist and member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee, Professor Shabir Madhi, said during a Daily Maverick webinar on Sunday.

Between 35% and 40% of people living in densely populated areas in South Africa had probably been infected with the coronavirus, the latest figures available for the Western Cape and Gauteng show.

The number of people who were infected was way above the confirmed figure of 650,000; “it is more in the region of 15 million to 20 million”, Madhi said. “Nobody could have predicted what would happen in South Africa.”

Madhi said that initial infection models estimated that about 25% of the population would be infected. He said the high prevalence of infections did not, however, translate into high rates of hospitalisations and deaths.

About half of the confirmed number of cases in SA had been confirmed by private sector laboratories, but the private sector does not look after 50% of the country’s population. He added that the asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic also didn’t get tested.

“The numbers [35% to 40%] are based on antibody testing,” he said.

He added that at…

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