Discovery health adrian gore

Discovery CEO Adrian Gore addressed the media on Tuesday. Photo: Twitter / @Discovery_SA

This is when the fourth wave will be at its worst, according to Discovery

Discovery Health said that according to its modelling the extent of the fourth wave is sensitive to vaccine uptake.

Discovery health adrian gore

Discovery CEO Adrian Gore addressed the media on Tuesday. Photo: Twitter / @Discovery_SA

Insurance giant Discovery held a media briefing on Wednesday, 1 December, to provide an update on the progress made in the implementation of its mandatory vaccination policy. The Group CEO Adrian Gore also shared some of the company’s insights into the pandemic.

DISCOVERY PREDICTS PEAK OF FOURTH WAVE

Gore said that according to Discovery’s COVID-19 modelling the peak of the fourth wave is expected sometime around the end of 2021 or the start of 2022.

“The peak of the fourth wave is expected at the end of December, early January. I think we modelled the start of this wave at the end of November, early December, which has proven to be quite accurate. Obviously, Omicron is the unexpected piece of it,” said the CEO.

According to Discovery’s modelling, the extent of the fourth wave is sensitive to vaccine uptake. A medium-term prediction assumes that 35 percent of the population will be vaccinated by the end of 2021 and vaccination rates will plateau from there.

Discovery’s modelling used data on excess deaths published by the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to estimate that more than 242 000 people died in the country due to COVID-19 since May 2020. The modelling assumes that just 90 percent of the excess deaths published by the SAMRC are related to COVID-19

In the 35 percent vaccination model, South Africa is expected to experience 16 000 more excess deaths (between June 2021 and June 2022) because of the pandemic. However, according to the insurance company, the death toll would be higher – 55 000 – without vaccination.

“There are indications that the looming fourth wave will be driven by the newly identified omicron variant of concern. While there is limited data around this variant at present, we do know that it exhibits extensive mutations in the spike protein alluding to its potentially increased transmissibility,” said Gore.

“Vaccination remains key to mitigating against severe illness and death in this regard.”

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