COVID-19 in SA: Death toll could be higher than reported

The interpretation of statistics gives the best indication of how we are managing the COVID-19 crisis. So SA recorded almost 2500 excess deaths in the first half of the year, according to the latest Medical Research Council estimates. Debbie Bradshaw, Burden of Disease Unit Director at the SA Medical Research Council, joins via Skype now for more. #eNCA Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's COVID-19 death toll could be much higher than the official number.

Researchers have released data on so-called 'excess deaths'.

This is the number of deaths above the historical average.

That figure could be close to 7,000, since the beginning of May.

READ: COVID-19 in SA: Alcohol's impact on the public health system

Officials are not saying government tried to hide anything but instead, it's a matter of data collection.

"Estimating this is very challenging but we are not sure if we are right," said Debbie Bradshaw, Burden of Disease Unit Director at the SA Medical Research Council.

"But we do take it as a signal that the official statistics are undertaking the real impact of COVID, it is not unusual, it has happened in other countries." 

READ: EC Health responds to R10m scooter backlash

The total number of confirmed cases in the country to 238,339.

The Department of Health congratulated South African laboratory services for completing over two-million tests.

Countrywide, 2,000,569 people have now been tested.

The total number of COVID-19 related deaths now stands at 3,720.

- Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Help protect your loved ones by sharing this official South African government COVID-19 service with your family, friends and community.

Send HI to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp.

The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.

Source
eNCA