Excess deaths within 10% of predicted number in latest weekly report
The number of deaths in SA is only 10% above the predicted number in the latest weekly estimate by experts at the Medical Research Council and the University of Cape Town.
Between August 26 and September 1, there were 10,562 deaths. The number was 934 (10%) higher than the predicted number based on historical data.
There were 761 confirmed Covid-19 deaths in the same week, meaning the so-called excess deaths are moving into line with the official virus death toll after a period in which they were up to four times higher.
The MRC team said deaths from unnatural causes, such as road accidents and homicides, had continued to increase since the lockdown was downgraded to level 2 on August 18.
“However, compared with the typical month-end increase that is usually experienced, the number was 6% below the predicted number for the week ending September 1, within the bounds of statistical variation,” they said.
Between May 6, when the number of deaths started to depart from predicted levels, and September 1, excess deaths from natural causes were 42,396 based on a revised baseline that takes account of lower mortality during lockdown. Official Covid-19 deaths in the same period totalled 14,110.
A presentation by the MRC burden of disease research unit and the UCT actuarial research centre said the gap suggested that some Covid-19 deaths that occur in the community are not reported, and that the epidemic in SA may have had a collateral affect.
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