About COVID-19 Preparedness Indicators

Providing open access to decision- ready data on the vulnerability of South African communities to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 infographics and vulnerability metrics make use of the latest publicly available data.  

Data was sourced from the National Department of Health and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Health Systems Trust, Global Health Workforce Statistics database, Global Health Observatory of the WHO, National Census, and 2016 Community Survey (abbreviated CS 2016). It is not the intention to duplicate efforts of dashboards tracking the spread of COVID-19. The team recommends the dashboard developed by interdisciplinary team of researchers from Wits University and iThemba LABS of the NRF in collaboration with the data analytics team of DataConvergence.

This page was compiled by a team of data scientists from the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) working on understanding the risk and vulnerability of communities in South Africa to disasters. 

Why do we include epidemics and pandemics in global change risks?

Recent decades have been marked by the emergence of diseases that move from animals to humans. These are known as zoonotic diseases and examples include Ebola, SARS, MERS, West Nile and Rift Valley fevers. Since there is low resistance to these novel diseases, they have had high impacts on infected human populations, and, in the recent emergence of COVID-19, have reached pandemic status. The United Nations ascribes the emergence of these diseases to the destruction of nature, causing the animal carriers of the disease to come into closer and more frequent contact with people as a consequence of loss of their natural habitat. Exploitation of wildlife and destruction of environments, both global change drivers, are driving the emergence of these diseases among people. 


COVID-19 Environmental reference group (CERg)


A team of leading South African environmental scientists from a range of institutions including SAEON, has been formed under the auspices of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) to consider the environmental aspects of the epidemic in the country and region, including weather, climate and air pollution.

The main goal of the CERG is to assess confidence regarding the environmental influences, confounders and drivers of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Through a process supported by the South African Department of Science and Innovation and the Department of Health, CERG has been consulting with the epidemiological modelling groups that have been mobilised to assist the South African government in designing and implementing its response strategy to the COVID-19 epidemic.