- The South African Medical Research Council says the number of deaths has surged significantly higher than expected.
- The number of deaths from unnatural causes, such as road traffic fatalities and homicides, was slightly below the predicted number.
- Between 6 May and 23 June 2020, there have been 4 039 deaths from natural causes.
The national number of deaths for the period 1 January 2020 till 23 June 2020 has increased and is significantly higher than the predicted number, based on historical data.
According to a report prepared by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the number of deaths from natural causes is also significantly higher than the predicted number.
The number of deaths from unnatural causes, however, such as road traffic fatalities and homicides, was slightly below the predicted number.
South Africa’s weekly deaths for all causes from 1 January to 23 June.
“While the number of deaths from natural causes of persons aged 1 to 59 years has increased in the week ending 23 June 2020, the number of deaths of persons 60 years and older has become significantly higher than predicted.
“Between 6 May and 23 June 2020, there has been an excess of 4 039 deaths from natural causes of persons,” said the SAMRC.
So far, Covid-19 related illnesses have claimed 2 657 lives in the country. The majority of deaths are in the Western Cape.
The organisation said that two metros in Gauteng have shown increased numbers of deaths in the week leading up to 23 June 2020.
Gauteng’s weekly deaths of unnatural causes.
Deaths from natural causes in the City of Cape Town, Buffalo and Nelson Mandela Bay metros also continued increasing in the week up to 23 June 2020.
“Since 6 May, an excess of 2 167 deaths from natural causes has been experienced in Cape Town, 202 in Buffalo and 455 in Nelson Mandela Bay. A sharp increase in natural deaths was observed in Buffalo City and the weekly number of natural deaths is significantly higher than [the] predicted number.
“Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have all shown increases in natural deaths and are experiencing an excess number of natural deaths,” the SAMRC said.
Western Cape’s deaths by natural causes.
The SAMRC added that because the number of deaths has a seasonal trend, historical data from 2018 and 2019 have been used to predict the number of deaths that could be expected during 2020.
“…. Generally, the number of excess deaths per week is calculated as the number of all-cause deaths in that week less the number that might be assumed to have occurred had there not been the epidemic.
“However, we have estimated the numbers of excess deaths once a clear upward trend is evident as the number of actual deaths less a baseline number determined as a proportion of the lower projection bound,” SAMRC said.