Excess deaths rise to 11,000 in research council's latest grim Covid-19 update
Excess deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic have reached 10,994 according to the latest weekly estimate from the Medical Research Council.
The estimated excess deaths from natural causes between May 6 and July 7 is two-and-a-half times the official Covid-19 death toll of 4,453.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) team of Debbie Bradshaw, Ria Laubscher, Rob Dorrington, Pam Groenewald and Tom Moultrie said two-thirds of the excess deaths (7,305) were in people older than 60.
Their findings supported other evidence indicating that the pandemic's acceleration in the Western Cape is losing momentum.
“The rate of increase in natural deaths in Cape Town appears to have slowed,” they said. “There were 389 excess deaths in the week up to 3 July, compared with 424 the previous week.”
The provinces with the most confirmed Covid-19 infections - Gauteng, the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal - were the ones bearing the burden of excess deaths.
“There is a particularly sharp increase in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape,” said the MRC team. “Compared with the predicted number of natural deaths from historical data in the week ending July 3, the Eastern Cape had 90% more, Gauteng had 71% more, and the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal had 17% more.”
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to prevent loss of life from unnatural causes such as road accidents and murders, which were 28% below the predicted number for the week ending July 7.