Premier Alan Winde strikes first, wants Western Cape moved to Level 3 soon

Gordon_R

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Can we trust that WC really has the worst numbers? Why is the gov being secretive about access to their data?
Very important article. It is clear that testing data (whether accurate or not) is highly correlated with government competence and decision making, and the subject has become strongly politicised, with the authoritarian wing determined to keep control. This has numerous side effects, in particular minimising analysis by competent outsiders.

The unfortunate result is undermining public confidence, to the detriment of both health and the economy. Saying 'trust us' was never going to work, and has now become an emblem of secrecy and paranoia.
 

alanB

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If we accept the health ministers very early statement that only verified data is released as true, then the reason is because the other provincial data is full of inaccuracies.
As far as I am concerned, until GP proves otherwise, I choose to be
I've their number of tests done is nothing more than the number of swabs taken, and not even properly date stamped.
In other words the GP data is worthless rubbish except possibly for the number of deaths.
Of course, as others have pointed out, given this is a fast moving dynamic situation, and given that we are still on the upward exponential curve, the most efficient reporting system is going to report the worst numbers, because those will be more up to date, while those that lag behind are going to show better numbers.

That is ignoring any politically motivated shenanigans, where all the ANC need to do, to take advantage of their own incompetence, is just be nice and slow in processing their data for the provinces they control, which will defacto make the WC look bad and in need of authoritarian intervention.
 

Geoff.D

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You're joking, right?

If half a million had already died in a pandemic you might have a point. But all this destruction for ten or twenty thousand or even a hundred thousand pandemic deaths is fascism on stilts. In a baddish year flu kills ten thousand and no-one even thinks of lockdown. What's so special about this virus that we need to wipe out the livelihoods of millions? Wood. Trees.
This is the crux of the matter. What makes this virus so special?
Next, it is fine to say that people should decide for themselves, but that assumes all are aware of the facts, which in SA is clearly not the case.
So, while the DA is calling for a different model to be used to attempt to control the spread, it is okay for a province to propose a compromise middle of the road solution based on the data they have as well.
Eat the elephant in small steps is never than a stand off based on political bloody mindedness in my book.
 

Gordon_R

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If we accept the health ministers very early statement that only verified data is released as true, then the reason is because the other provincial data is full of inaccuracies.
As far as I am concerned, until GP proves otherwise, I choose to be
I've their number of tests done is nothing more than the number of swabs taken, and not even properly date stamped.
In other words the GP data is worthless rubbish except possibly for the number of deaths.
I think that's quite likely true. What is important to recognise is that there are multiple versions of reality, and one fact does not necessarily contradict another, in the absence of a fuller understanding.

It is perhaps best to assume that, for multiple reasons which I have mentioned elsewhere, WC & GP and other provinces are 'separate countries' as far as the epidemic is concerned. There may be a central government and a 'lockdown', but the demographics and cultures are vastly different.

Even if the current data are accurate (which is debatable), they may simply represent different stages of the epidemic. Remember when Italy was a disaster and the UK was still at an early stage?

This is not a video-game to see who has the highest 'score', so some of the posturing in this thread is inappropriate. Trying to link the data to the lockdown unfortunately pollutes the discussion further (see my previous post).
 

NarrowBandFtw

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You live too close to a military base for your own good
only Ysterplaat is nearby and it's effectively just a museum / mostly unused

flyovers are not unheard of here, but twice daily is completely unheard of unless an airshow is around the corner
 

Geoff.D

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I think that's quite likely true. What is important to recognise is that there are multiple versions of reality, and one fact does not necessarily contradict another, in the absence of a fuller understanding.

It is perhaps best to assume that, for multiple reasons which I have mentioned elsewhere, WC & GP and other provinces are 'separate countries' as far as the epidemic is concerned. There may be a central government and a 'lockdown', but the demographics and cultures are vastly different.

Even if the current data are accurate (which is debatable), they may simply represent different stages of the epidemic. Remember when Italy was a disaster and the UK was still at an early stage?

This is not a video-game to see who has the highest 'score', so some of the posturing in this thread is inappropriate. Trying to link the data to the lockdown unfortunately pollutes the discussion further (see my previous post).
Yes as I have also posted before, it is not about the numbers per se, it is about the quality of the data and the information contained in the numbers that matters.
We would want to know that swabs are taken on a certain date at a very specific point and logged.
Many questions now arise.
Does the test just detect the presence of the virus? Can they deduce the virus load from the test?
does the virus carry on multiplying in a swab?
Does the virus die once it is removed from the patient?
How quickly after the swab is taken should it be tested to still be valid?

When is a test recorded as done? what are the numbers of negative tests and positive tests? When is a test logged? On the date of the test being completed or linked back to the date of the swab?

So many people are trying to read all sorts of things into the data, so openness and accuracy is vital.

Nowhere is there a list of definitions of what the data released means? Or are we all assuming that everyone is understanding the data the same?

The whole process is just a confused mess.
 

garp

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The whole process is just a confused mess.
This seems to be an accurate assessment. There are so many variables in the data that are assumed and little sign of standardisation, and from what I can gather no access to the raw data outside of the secretive NICD/NCCC.

Added to your list of variables, I'd like to see which labs conducted which tests, and which test kits were used.

On the surface of it, I doubt the results are tied back to the date of the test, otherwise they'd be reporting it retrospectively - i.e. "the count for last Wednesday is now x". Which means we're seeing infection data that is some undetermined amount of days old. Also the labs could be processing and releasing results in batches.

But perhaps most importantly, the key criteria is how many ICU cases there are, and where, but it seems that number is only updated occasionally, and is not part of the official daily media release.
 

Geoff.D

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Again, ONLY the WC is trying to answer these questions. ONLY the WC is being open about what they are doing, and ONLY the WC is prepared to entertain any questions directed at them.
The report for the 16th May acknowledges questions as illustrated here:

The link:


Today's statistics show a considerable jump in new infections over the past 24 hours. There are a number of reasons for this large jump: as we have indicated before, the curve of the virus is moving faster in the Western Cape as a result of entrenched community transmission in some of the Western Cape's hotspot areas. The Western Cape has also seen a considerable increase in the number of tests conducted in the past 24 hours (6150 additional tests), and backlogs in the processing of tests at the National Health Laboratory Services result in batches of results being released simultaneously.
Now while this does not address all our questions, it shows that the WC is equally concerned about the validity of the data they release and that refinements are needed.

By contrast, any questions posed to the GP lot is met with blank stares and deathly silence ..........
 

Gordon_R

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Again, ONLY the WC is trying to answer these questions. ONLY the WC is being open about what they are doing, and ONLY the WC is prepared to entertain any questions directed at them.
The report for the 16th May acknowledges questions as illustrated here:

The link: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/news/update-coronavirus-premier-alan-winde-16-may
Another interesting note in that link:
Today, I attended a virtual meeting of the President Cyril Ramaphosa's Coordinating Council. This meeting comprises Ministers, the Premiers of all nine provinces, as well as representatives from the South African Local Government Association.

The focus of the discussion was around the response to Covid-19 across the provinces, and the move towards alert level 3 of the lockdown. We received a number of presentations including one from the National Department of Health.

The Western Cape presented its hotspot strategy to the group, as the provincial response to the number of infections in nine geographical areas. These areas- in each of the City of Cape Town's eight sub-districts, and in Witzenberg account for a large proportion of the Western Cape's infections. Using the data and evidence available to us, we will be able to specifically target these areas with responses from across government departments.
All of the information presented will be taken into the National Command Council Meeting to be held tomorrow, where further deliberations will take place.
My understanding is as follows:
1. Representatives of all the Provinces and Metros forward their concerns to the President.
2. The NCCC then meet, and decide to do whatever they want...
 
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noxibox

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That's sad - just spotted the 'Major Offences Reaction Team' wording on the nearest one...! Never realised surfing was a major offence. God forbid they should arrest a paedophile or a wife-beater.
You can't expect them to expend time on petty crimes when surfers and sandal wearing yoga practitioners are at large.

I've said many times before that I think the lockdown should be dropped. But going on the over reaction of people much smarter than me, and with much more information than me I have no their choice but to trust them. Assuming their reactions are correct, it would be stupid to not social distance, something south Africans won't do on their own unless forced to.

It doesn't make any sense for any government to screw its own finances, especially our greedy pigs, just because.
Not exactly just because. Sticking pigheadedly to ideology or whatever they've already decided to do? I don't see why not. They've done it before.
 

Tim_vb

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You can't expect them to expend time on petty crimes when surfers and sandal wearing yoga practitioners are at large.


Not exactly just because. Sticking pigheadedly to ideology or whatever they've already decided to do? I don't see why not. They've done it before.
I'm all for locking up surfers and anyone running yoga classes if it helps in introducing a tiny bit of self awareness as to what the rest of the world is going through.
 

quovadis

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Yes as I have also posted before, it is not about the numbers per se, it is about the quality of the data and the information contained in the numbers that matters.
We would want to know that swabs are taken on a certain date at a very specific point and logged.
Many questions now arise.
Does the test just detect the presence of the virus?
No - PCR testing detects presence of viral rna and its prevalence.

Can they deduce the virus load from the test?
Yes

does the virus carry on multiplying in a swab?
Viruses require living cells to replicate.

Does the virus die once it is removed from the patient?
The viral rna would be present on the swabs and it can lead to infection the same as if it came into contact with a surface etc.


How quickly after the swab is taken should it be tested to still be valid?
Varies according to how its handled.

When is a test recorded as done? what are the numbers of negative tests and positive tests? When is a test logged? On the date of the test being completed or linked back to the date of the swab?
Varies.

Nowhere is there a list of definitions of what the data released means? Or are we all assuming that everyone is understanding the data the same?
What specifically is confusing? My interpretation would be...

Screening = Basic physical exam and questionaire - if symptomatic or high risk then referred for a test.
Tested = Swab (nose/throat) sample taken, sent to lab (NHLS/Private/Combination) and resulted.
Postive = PCR Test concluded indicates expression and viral load and NICD / doctors etc notified.
Negative = PCR test negative
Infections/Infected = Postive and Notified / Contact Tracing process / Quarantine / Data etc
Dead = Those who have died as a result of or associated with Covid infection (tested positive prior or post mortem testing)
Recovered = Those who had previously tested positive and then confirmed by subsequent testing that they are no longer infected.
 
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