South Africa has reported an increase in the number of Covid-19-related deaths as the country faces the peak of its second wave of infection.
As of Wednesday, January 13, the country reported a daily increase of 806 new deaths. This follows an increase of 755 new deaths on Tuesday. The total number of reported deaths in the country now stands at 35,140 people.
Data from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) shows that the weekly number of deaths from all causes continued to increase during the week of December 30, 2020 to January 5, 2021, with the country registering a record number of deaths from all causes. 20063 deaths during this period.
During the week, including New Years Day, the number of natural deaths exceeded the predicted number by 131%, resulting in a surplus of 10,907 deaths from natural causes, the SAMRC said.
He added that from May 6, 2020 to January 5, 2021, there were a total of 83,918 additional deaths reported from natural causes across the country.
Deaths recorded in the national population register are provided to 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.
SAMRC data shows that deaths from natural causes in the Eastern Cape continued to increase slowly with 2,298 excess natural deaths recorded in the week of December 30, 2020 – January 5, 2021, up from 2,228 the previous week and could show the first signs of reversal.
The number of deaths in Wave 2 is significantly higher than the number of excess natural deaths at the peak of Wave 1 in the province (1,597).
Natural deaths in Nelson Mandela Bay continued to decline and the second wave in Buffalo City reversed.
Data shows that KwaZulu-Natal has seen a rapid increase in natural deaths.
The number of excess natural deaths in the week of December 30, 2020 to January 5, 2021 hit a record 3,389, more than double the first wave high of 1,306 deaths.
The number of deaths from natural causes at eThekwini also increased rapidly to 875 excess natural deaths, far higher than the peak of the first wave where there were 363 more deaths.
Natural deaths in the Western Cape also continued to increase rapidly, with 1,432 excess natural deaths occurring during New Year’s week.
The SAMRC said there were indications of a slowdown in the increase, but the death toll has yet to turn and is more than double the peak of the first wave (601).
The number of natural deaths in the city of Cape Town has also increased rapidly with a record number of additional deaths (943).
Deaths from natural causes have also increased rapidly in Gauteng over the past three weeks, with 1,725 more deaths in the first week of the new year. Similar increases were recorded in the city of Johannesburg, Ekhuruleni and the city of Tshwane, each with a surplus of around 500 deaths.
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