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Has the Eastern Cape hit the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic? While this question is on the lips of many, the answer, at least for the Eastern Cape, is no.

And Nelson Mandela Bay may well be the driver of this regional surge, hence our statistics will be important if the Eastern Cape wants to know when its peak will be.

Mathematical modelling and computer simulations help us to understand how the disease spreads.

One of the simplest models, the D-Model, is being worked on in collaboration with SA and international scientists.

This looks at reported daily deaths and the cumulative number over time.

However, adding factors such as demographics and quarantine measures makes it more complex.

We have only recently started to see the full effect of lifting lockdown restrictions from level 4 to 3.

In other words, we now see the effect of an infection picked up 20-30 days ago.

If a person dies because of Covid-19, the statistics of reported deaths are less ambiguous compared to the number of confirmed cases or confirmed recoveries.

The death rate is an indication of reported cases and not synonymous with the number of infections.

The daily death rates have a peak.

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This article appeared in The Herald (South Africa) on 5 August 2020 written by Executive Dean of Science at Nelson Mandela University, Professor Azwinndini Muronga.