PANDA charts: More explosive evidence SA’s ‘laser focus’ on Covid-19 is destructive

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PANDA is a thinktank of actuaries, economists and other number crunchers with the objective of  understanding Covid-19. It has highlighted the dangers of relying on numbers that are flawed when developing public health policy.

In South Africa, strict Covid-19 containment designed to halt the spread of the virus has smashed the economy, which is expected to show signs that it contracted by at least 30% in the second quarter. Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs and businesses are fighting insurers for business interruption claims. This series of charts underscores the PANDA view that a laser focus on Covid-19 ignores the destruction of the economy, particularly in the light of  year-to-date deaths. – Editor

South Africa’s 7-day rolling average of deaths per million (DPM) is fractionally above 1, hardly backing lockdown-alarmist theories. Some perspective? Belgium was losing 26x more than SA at its peak, despite similar stringency (navy line).


Our curve is similar to Russia’s, with whom we share many characteristics. But here are some worse than SA for daily DPM. UK 14x USA 8x, Ireland 14x and Italy 13x worse than SA. Instead of celebrating our resilience you want us to wreak yet more havoc on the economy?


In cumulative DPM (another way of looking at it), SA is currently at 45, Belgium 855, UK 660, Spain 613, USA 391. It’s not lockdown that causes the difference. Here are the worst countries in the world.


If lockdown works, it is hard to see when presented with facts instead of modellers’ fictions. The SACMC model continues to be catastrophically wrong. Just days from their 12 June update, we have already breached their “mid-low bound”, for reasons we warned them of in advance.


And how would one explain this graph, demonstrating that lockdown has absolutely no bearing on how the disease affects countries? There are 149 countries presented here. Please describe how to conclude that lockdown works?


Yes, there are other factors at play. We are modelling them. If you would care to see some real analysis & opinion our door is always open. Here is an example scatterplot for you to consider. Or you can stick with the alarmist fear paradigm that your advisors seem so keen on.


Just as a teaser, population age structure is relevant. Can you spot the difference between India and SA compared to Belgium, Italy and Spain?

When you change your testing policy you should expect your positive cases to rise. Any other outcome would be startling. Yet, your advisors seem shocked by this logical outcome?

And citing this increase in cases they are pushing you to support lockdown level 5? How about lockdown level 0. Between 1.2 and 1.4 DPM are occurring in SA, and the curve is decelerating, yet lockdown-induced poverty will be far deadlier.

A laser focus on Covid-19, ignoring destruction of the economy is hardly justified when considering year-to-date deaths.


Compared to a normal year Covid-19 has claimed fewer lives than any of our 15 leading causes of death. And we daily hear reports that government has diverted resources away from these critical killers to tackle the virus. Is this even vaguely reasonable?

Seize the opportunity to change the narrative. These facts are not going to be “magicked” away. They will be there for all to see & history will judge you. At this critical juncture we implore you to do the right & honourable thing for the sake of a country we all love.

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