It is not clear to me what substantial points were being made in the article by some of SA’s most eminent epidemiological modellers (“Uncertainty governs Covid-19 projections, so multidisciplinary research is vital (../2020-09-03-uncertainty-governs-covid-19-projections-so-multidisciplinary-research-is-vital/)”, September 3). They were replying to Prof Graham Barr’s earlier article (“Government shunned proper statistical tools to tackle pandemic (../2020-08-23-government-shunned-proper-statistical-tools-to-tackle-pandemic/)”, August 23).

They obviously are keen to claim appropriate academic rigour and cautiousness for their much publicised projections about possible Covid-related deaths. However, the more general and much more important point this correspondence raises concerns the extent to which, in SA and elsewhere, highly uncertain and seriously mistaken projections about possible (but not very probable) deaths resulting from Covid-19 have led governments to adopt policie...

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