As South Africa has seen an influx of Covid-19 cases as a third wave hits the country, official deaths attributed to the pandemic have increased.
On Thursday, May 20, the Ministry of Health announced that 61 more people had died from Covid-19. This follows the announcement of 167 deaths on Wednesday, 80 deaths on Tuesday and 50 deaths on Monday.
Weekly statistics compiled by Jon Hopkins University and Our World show the country hit an inflection point in early May and has seen a steady increase in deaths since.
However, that remains well below the more than 750 deaths reported daily during the peak of the country’s second wave of covid-19 in mid-January.
Data from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) shows that the weekly number of deaths from all causes also continued to increase during the week of May 9 to 15.
Deaths recorded in the national population register are communicated to the SAMRC on a weekly basis.
These have been increased to estimate the actual number of deaths taking into account those who are not in the population register and the under-registration of deaths.
The estimated numbers are compared to the expected number based on historical data from 2018 and 2019.
“The number of excess deaths of people aged one year and over from natural causes continued to increase to 1,422 in week 19 (May 9-15, 2021), after the low in week 11 (March 14-20 ) of 1,027, ”the group said. .
“Since May 3, 2020, there have been a cumulative total of over 160,000 additional deaths from natural causes in people aged 1 year and over, including over 77,000 in 2021.”
Commenting on this week’s data, the SAMRC said the number of deaths from natural causes in the Free State and the North Cape is concerning.
He added that the northwest, Gauteng and Mpumalanga are showing signs of recovery over the past week.
“As most metropolitan areas follow the predicted number of natural deaths, the excess deaths appear to be the result of slow burning in non-metropolitan areas of the country,” he said.
“The provinces with the highest number of additional deaths at the end of week 19 are, in order, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng.”
Read: New data shows sharp increase in downsizing after South Africa lockdown