South Africa is indeed on the cusp of having its lockdown restrictions eased this week, and we’re just a family meeting away from enjoying the nearest thing to freedom we’ve had in over 18 months. However, even though Level 1 is fast approaching, it may not be long until Level 3 has to make a return.
That’s the prediction made by the experts at Price Waterhouse Coopers. The economic analysts are taking their lead from Health Minister Joe Phaahla, who said earlier this month that he expects one more COVID-19 resurgence in 2021.
The rather pessimistic outlook predicts that cases will rise by the end of November, forcing the government into some difficult decisions by December. Even the moderate forecasts from PwC predict a swift transition from Level 1 to Level 3 in the run-up to Christmas, only escaping such restrictions if ‘the best case scenario’ takes place.
The so-called ‘lockdown roadmaps’ published by PwC have been fairly accurate before, and according to a statement released last week, they believe that South Africa will move ‘straight into another wave’ this summer. Oh, the joy…
“PwC’s economic scenarios for 2021 are influenced by different perspectives about the third wave of COVID-19. All our scenarios take into account a likely fourth wave of infections (with varying severity, depending on the scenario) during the summer holidays. South Africa could move from the current wave straight into another wave over the summer.”
The financial gurus have split their predictions into three columns: The upside, the baseline, and the downside. From left to right, we see the most optimistic forecast, followed by the moderate one, and then the ‘worst-case scenario’. Two of the more positive assessments believe that we will get two months at Level 1, before Level 3 comes knocking.
South Africa isn’t vaccinating people fast enough to prevent a significant resurgence of the virus this year, it would appear. Only 21% of people are fully vaccinated, and even if that doubles in the next two months, more than half the population will still not have complete protection from the virus – leaving them vulnerable to this serious illness.