South Africa Covid19 testing

President Ramaphosa once again showed his statesmanship this evening and showed the world that South Africa has a strategic plan in place to bring the country out of lockdown using a phased approach. Through the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and through broader consultation, the President has shown what South Africa can do in tackling the pandemic through testing and preparing the country for an increase in chronic cases while addressing the many economic challenges that the country is facing. There is still much work to be done but at least we have a direction.

The chart above shows the direction that the country is taking when looking at the increase in the number of tests being done relative to the increase in number of Covid19 cases. There has been a continued increase in the number of tests being done, outstripping most other African countries. The President indicated that the government is continuing to increase the levels of testing throughout the country but especially in high risk communities. However, the testing needs to increase more exponentially to be able to get ahead of the of the pandemic. Exponential increases in testing in Australia and New Zealand shows the impact it can have on controlling the increase in the number of confirmed cases.

The USA has also increased their levels of testing but the linear relationship between testing and confirmed cases show they are still not on top the pandemic. The United Kingdom having started off strongly has tailored off its testing and continues to see increases in Covid 19 confirmed cases. The United Kingdom has now surpassed the USA with 65.6 confirmed cases per million people compared to the USA at 53.1 per million people. South Africa is higher than both Australia and New Zealand with 2.9 cases per million compared to 0.27 and below 0.00, respectively. This giving an indication of how testing can help in controlling the pandemic (see chart above).

How to use the Our World in Data charts

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