Peter du Toit

Dec 243 min read

Knysna; SARS-CoV-2 update

My last update was on September 27th 2020 and a lot has happened since then.

On Friday December 18th South African scientists announced the discovery of a new linage of the virus. They named it 501.V2 and shortly thereafter they published this paper outlining their findings. It was determined that the varient originated in Nelson Mandela Bay (some 270km from Knysna), then spread to other parts of the Eastern Cape, finding its way to the Garden Route and then onto the Cape Metro. The varient was considered more effiecient in its ability to spread which in retorspect lead to this situation in Knysna.

From the grey bars in this graph (daily infections) it can be seen that we far exceeded the number of infections from July and August. This is how the case numbers evolved from the last week of October to date:

Week of 25 October — 39 new cases
Week of 1 November — 68 new cases (+74.35% increase from previous week)
Week of 7 November — 181 new cases (+166.17%)
Week of 15 November — 372 new cases (+105.53%)
Week of 22 November — 448 new cases (+20.43%)
Week of 29 November — 485 new cases (+8.25%)
Week of 6 December — 422 new cases (-12.98%)
Week of 13 December — 283 new cases (-33.15%)*

(*On Monday December 14 the National Health Department announced additional restrictions in the area, such as closing the beaches until January 2nd as well as instituting a 10-4pm curfew and only allowing liquor sales from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday. Looking at the above data points the timining of these restrictions could be argued to have been too late and should have been enacted early in November already.)

Infections happened rapidly and then started to decline after 5 week climb. Obviously the health departments contact tracing also kicked in during this period and some behaviour began to change as a result of all the infections and deaths.

Below is listed the 111 deaths (as of December 26th 2020) per age group as well as the Case Fatality Rate (CRF) for each group as experienced from the when the virus was first detected in Knysna:

0-5 — 0
6-20 — 1 (CFR 0.30%)
21-30 — 2 (CFR 0.24%)
31-40 — 9 (CFR 0.93%)
41-50 — 13 (CFR 1.59%)
51-60 — 27 (CFR 4.74%)
61-70 — 28 (CFR 8.94%)
71-80 — 16 (CFR 11.26%)
80+ — 15 (CFR 17.86%)

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