15 fatalities on the 15th in a taxi/minibus crash – maybe South Africans have a reason to fear COVID-19 less than Europeans

On 15 April, 15 occupants of a taxi-minibus (i.e. all of them) died in a head-on collision. Lockdown has reduced road fatalities to a record low, ironically; these people were particularly unlucky. But the event illustrates the kind of hazard that South Africans face daily. Life expectancy here is 59 for men, 65 for women. COVID-19 mortality rises sharply in the 60s, and, while this may not “transport” to African populations, we’re apparently happy to “transport” the exact same measures used elsewhere. Not enough cost-benefit analysis being done. Lockdown might save some from road traffic accidents but it will kill more from malnutrition and diseases endemic in the region, as malnutrition reduces resistance and medical supplies are diverted.

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