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As much as it is possible to tell, the continuing coronavirus lockdown in SA is not serving much real purpose. Even the man who recommended it, Prof Salim Abdool Karim, the government’s chief adviser on Covid-19, believes it has already served its purpose. The aim was to push out what he believed the peak period of infection in SA (August to September). By September, he argued, the country would be better prepared to handle the volume of patients.

Or, to put it another way, as Prof Francois Balloux, director of the genetics institute at University College London, tweeted: “Infectious disease epidemiology is about minimising the numbers of years of life lost. It’s a numbers game and it’s not always pretty or nice. What may intuitively feel like an obvious strategy to reach that goal can be straightforward at times, at others, possibly less so.”..

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