We must all be wary of a second wave being manufactured by increases in testing that are presented to us as an increase in cases. It is foolhardy to focus our attention on one disease alone instead of the overall impact of policy choices we make. When we do focus on one disease alone, we should certainly not focus on positive tests but rather on death and hospitalisation data.
Epidemiological modellers have made themselves irrelevant by producing work that failed to align with reality and they remain unrepentant in the face of overwhelming evidence of their failings. They made themselves irrelevant by choosing to support the hand that feeds them and allowing their work to be used to justify violations of our constitutional rights through illegal lockdowns that destroy lives and livelihoods on a daily basis.
It’s a catastrophe. The lockdown could kill far more people than the virus.
“What has happened in the last four months is the greatest social injustice in SA’s history since apartheid,” says PANDA co-founder Nick Hudson. “The lockdown is based on bad science, poor modelling and even worse judgment on the part of the government.”
Shayne Krige, a lawyer with Panda, says it helps the government to show a large number of deaths. “To establish that the lockdown regulations are rational, the government has to show, on an ongoing basis, that Covid presents a serious risk. And in order to show that the draconian lockdown measures the government adopted were proportionate to the harm, the number of people who could die needs to be high,” he says.
One of the most important findings from the masses of emerging Covid-19 data is the complete failure of the lockdown theory as a means of reducing the pace at which the infection spreads—what is known as the “reproduction rate”. Governments and modelers have assumed that imposition and relaxation of lockdowns would cause step-changes in the reproduction rate, but in country after country, no such step-changes can be seen. Reproduction rates track a linearly declining path.
Piet Streicher of Pandemic Data Analytics talks to Refilwe Moloto about what we can actually read into announcements by the Western Cape Health authorities that they are seeing signs that infection rates in the province are no longer accelerating.
South Africa’s epidemiological models have proven to be wildly inaccurate. A new commentary by international modellers explains why Covid-19 models are a poor basis for decision-making, while South Africa’s own modellers try, but fail, to explain themselves.
PANDA is receiving a slew of requests from doctors, hospital administrators and journalists all over the country who had become frustrated with the NICD’s guidance and wanted a steer from us on what they should plan for. We are a small, not-for-profit business staffed by part-time volunteers, and do not yet have the infrastructure to deal with such requests, as much as we’d like to.
The first official prediction of how many ICU beds would be used in the Western Cape by Covid-19 patients, made back in May, overestimated by between 12 times and 16.5 times the critical care beds needed.
In this second article in our series on the faulty science of South Africa’s modellers, we take up where our first article left off.
By Piet Streicher, Shayne Krige and Nick Hudson