Over 50,000 deaths registered during lockdown unrelated to Covid-19

Home Affairs registered over 50,000 deaths unrelated to Covid-19 during the lockdown.
Home Affairs registered over 50,000 deaths unrelated to Covid-19 during the lockdown.
Image: Alaister Russell

SA has had more than 50,000 deaths that are not related to Covid-19 since the lockdown was announced.

This is according to a home affairs presentation made to parliament’s home affairs portfolio committee.

It showed that a total of 50,356 deaths were registered in this period. When the presentation was made on Tuesday afternoon, the official Covid-19 death toll stood at 286. This means the official deaths registered by the department of home affairs that are not related to Covid-19 stood at 50,070.

The department’s report, meant to update the committee about its performance during the lockdown period, was presented by director-general Jackie McKay.

“In terms of deaths registered during level 5, we registered 37,452 deaths. During level 4, we now stand at 12,904,” said McKay.

The report by the department does not classify any of the deaths it has registered.

It also shows that the department is currently experiencing an estimated backlog of 35,109 birth registrations.

The number has gone down by close to 60% since the introduction of level 4, when mothers were allowed to register their newborns. At the beginning of stage 4, the department had an estimated backlog of 81,650 unregistered births.

“The department is likely to clear the estimated backlog on birth registration within five days, should the situation remain unchanged,” said McKay.

During the meeting, IFP MP Liezl van der Merwe cautioned the department about the number of parents who queue with their newborn babies to register for births.

But health minister Aaron Motsoaledi said his department had explained that parents are not required to bring their babies to register their births. He said they have since arranged for the birth registration queue to be separate from other services at their branches.