On 9 July, the Government of South Africa released a speech by Minister Zwerimhertz (Zweli Mkhize) to brief Parliament on the latest situation of the COVID-19 pandemic of the coronavirus.
According to Mhertz's report, since the release of the latest scientific model results in May 2020, the government has synchronously updated the national COVID Epi model, used South African hospitalization data to estimate virus reproduction and adjust detection methods, and re-modeled COVID-19 in areas with different infection levels. The latest model predicts that the country is expected to reach its peak in mid-August, which is close to the previous forecast, but the expected number of infections during the peak period will be lower than previously expected. This means that in an optimistic scenario, the number of infections from May to June is also lower than previously expected. At the same time, it was indicated that it was expected that the currently planned hospital beds in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces would not be sufficient to meet the demand for non-ICU beds and overflow when ICU capacity was insufficient. It is expected that there will be a shortage of beds in the next four weeks (including all currently committed public and private sector beds).
When the blockade was imposed in South Africa on March 24, the South African government predicted the outbreak period for the first time in June. Judging from the actual infection situation, the prediction was too accurate and scientific, and the number of new infections continued to break through the new high. After adjusting the national COVID Epi model in May, the outbreak peak was changed from the end of August to early September. Although the government has re-regionally raised the blockade level, it abandoned the blockade again in view of the difficulty of re-implementation and the sharp decline in exports, which is an "unbearable burden" on the South African economy.
The latest outbreak forecast released by the South African government is about half a month ahead of the second forecast. Judging from the current public statement by the government and relevant reports from South Africa, it is less likely that the government will upgrade the blockade level again in mid-August to deal with the epidemic, but it is very worrying whether the actual outbreak of infection in major ports and the shortage of beds will once again drag down the country's transport and production efficiency. According to industry estimates, the efficiency of port Elizabeth is still only 70% of what it was before the outbreak since the blockade was downgraded to phase 3 in June.