What's happening at the epicentre of the covid outbreak

Gauteng covid cases rise to 8280 from 6168

The latest data from the South African province at the centre of the covid outbreak are out and the news isn't good with daily cases hitting 8280.

Here's the recent progression:

  • 23 Nov: 605
  • 24 Nov: 1018
  • 25 Nov : 1950
  • 26 Nov : 2173
  • 27 Nov : 2629
  • 28 Nov : 2308
  • 29 Nov : 1909
  • 30 Nov: 3143
  • 1 Dec: 6168
  • 2 Dec: 8280

Below the surface it's even worse because the number of tests was roughly steady and positivity rose to 22.4% from 16.5%.

Another thing to keep an eye on is the rest of the country. Clusters have at times fooled virologists due to mass spreading events. For instance, there was some talk of student parties seeding the outbreak in Gauteng.

How it spreads in the rest of the country will offer clues into how it spreads globally. Cases in the rest of the country today were 3255 today versus 2393 a day ago and 515 a week ago.

This isn't a pretty picture.

Questions about the effects on unvaccinated and vaccinated people will take longer to answer.

You have to ask yourself: What's the worst-case scenario? I believe vaccine makers can roll out updates quickly and therapeutics continue to improve. There won't be mass lockdowns but this is going to be a drag. At the same time, markets have shown a remarkable ability to look through covid and I'm sure that governments won't hesitate to spend more money.