Home SA News SA’s shocking ‘actual’ Covid-19 death toll could be 128 000 – more...

SA’s shocking ‘actual’ Covid-19 death toll could be 128 000 – more than double the official deaths

Shocking ‘actual’ South Africa's Covid-19 death toll could be 128 000!

SA has now seen 128,000 ‘excess’ deaths – with a sharp rise among the under 60s in recent weeks Covid-19 death toll.

New data released by the South African Medical Research Council show a shocking rise in the number of excess deaths in recent weeks.

Excess deaths measure the total number of fatalities from natural causes compared with the expected death rate in a “normal” year.

The SAMRC uses official death statistics, as well as estimates of deaths that may not be registered, to determine the total number of fatalities in SA.

In total, the SAMRC calculates that there were more than 110,000 “excess” deaths from natural causes since May (when these deaths first started to pick up) to mid-January.

Researchers who have studied weekly mortality in South Africa since the start of the local epidemic have released a new report where they estimate, for the first time,

the number of Covid-19 deaths that were not officially reported.

Researchers estimate that between 85% and 95% of excess natural deaths found

between May 2020 and February 2021, are directly linked to the Covid-19 local epidemic.

This means that South Africa’s actual death toll from Covid-19 is estimated to be between

114 000 and 128 000, compared to 46 473 “official” deaths reported by the health department as of 8 February.


More than 50 000 people are reported to have died from Covid-19, officially, as at the end of February.


South Africa’s actual death toll linked to the Covid-19 local epidemic could be as high as

128 000 as of early February, according to a new report that was released on Wednesday.

As of 8 February, the national Department of Health reported 46 473 deaths from Covid-19,

compared to an estimated 135 000 excess deaths. As of early March, the official number of reported deaths was above 50 000.

A lower estimate of 114 000 was also presented, based on different calculations of collateral deaths.

Either of these estimates would place South Africa among the worst-hit countries in

the world, based on known deaths per 100 000 people.

Only five countries have recorded more than 100 000 deaths, including the United States,

Brazil, Mexico, India and the United Kingdom, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The university also reports deaths per 100 000 people for the 20 most affected countries.

Czechia tops this list with 195 deaths per 100 000 people, followed by the United Kingdom (185),

Italy (162) and the US, at 157 deaths per 100 000 people.

Johns Hopkins estimates that South Africa has reported 87 deaths per 100 000 people.

If the most recent estimates around excess deaths are taken into account,

it would push South Africa’s per capita death rate from Covid-19 amongst the highest in the world –

between 196 and 220 deaths per 100 000 individuals.

This evaluation is skewed nevertheless, as the researchers level out, as a result of it’s

based mostly on reported deaths from different international locations,

the place the underlying extra mortality is but to be clearly outlined.

Epidemic impression

Research on extra mortality has constantly proven that the official variety of deaths was

underreporting the true impression of Covid-19.

The workforce of researchers who’ve ready the estimates is made up of scientists from

the South African Medical Research Council’s Burden of Disease Research Unit and the

University of Cape Town’s Centre for Actuarial Research.

The workforce has printed weekly mortality experiences since the begin of the native

outbreak to offer “near real-time estimates” of weekly mortality in the nation.

Excess deaths are decided by evaluating the variety of deaths reported to the Department

of Home Affairs, categorised as being from pure causes and unnatural causes,

and evaluating these deaths with historic tendencies seen in earlier years, when Covid-19 was not spreading.


In addition to the weekly extra mortality report printed this week, a supplementary report

was additionally made public. In the report, the BDRU and CARe groups estimate for the

first time, the proportion of extra pure deaths that could be attributable to Covid-19.

“We estimate that nationally, 85-95% of the excess natural deaths are attributable to Covid-19.

“The remaining 5-15% of the extra deaths are thought-about to be attributable to

collateral causes, in all probability primarily as a consequence of overwhelming of the well

being companies throughout surges in the pandemic,” the report reads.

Collateral causes mean people who died as a result of not being able to access healthcare


services or being too afraid to seek healthcare for fear of Covid-19.


“A comparability of the time tendencies in extra deaths, the confirmed Covid-19 deaths

(by date of prevalence), and proportions testing optimistic for SARS-CoV-2 by province

makes it fairly clear that these extra deaths are immediately associated to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the report states.

The BDRU’s Professor Debbie Bradshaw, in June last year, first confirmed that they had

found a “big discrepancy” between the variety of reported Covid-19 deaths and pure extra deaths.

She stated at the time that there was little question, contemplating the timing and

placement of the extra deaths, that they have been linked to the Covid-19 native epidemic.

This new analysis helps this and contains extra comparisons which strengthen the proof

{that a} excessive variety of extra pure deaths are linked to Covid-19.

SA TIMES NEWS beforehand reported that the well being division refused to acknowledge underreporting Covid-19 deaths.

When introduced with an evaluation displaying the sturdy correlation between the timing

and placement of extra pure deaths and spikes in Covid-19 circumstances,

it maintained that the extra deaths have been solely an estimate, and could not be confirmed as deaths linked to Covid-19.