The number of people infected by covid-19 is more than 700,000 globally. The number who've died, over 34,000

Those are the estimates by Johns Hopkins university, but do those figures accurately reflect reality?

If we are talking pure mathematics, curves usually indicate how severe cases are in a country and show its ability to control a crisis.

But there are other factors too: governments denying risks, facts supressed, lack of access to poor people and limited testing.

Be it in slums, townships, countries suffering conflicts and those without democracies; what is unknown is whether the outbreak is bigger than politicians are admitting, or are able to handle.

So is that hampering efforts to curb the disease?

Mark Heywood, human rights activist and editor of the Daily Maverick's Maverick Citizen section.

Arun Kumar, economist and professor at the Institute of Social Sciences.

Hopewell Chin'ono, an award winning journalist and documentary film maker.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

AP Top Stories May 11 A