World

South African Covid Deaths May Be 3 Times More Than Official Counts

Coronavirus In South Africa: South Africa has recorded more than 3.7 million cases of coronavirus.

Johannesburg:

South Africa has recorded more than 100,000 deaths as a result of Covid, according to official figures released today, but actual deaths are believed to be higher.

Data released by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases shows a total of 100,020 deaths have occurred since the outbreak began two years ago.

The institute reported 44 deaths on Wednesday, but only six of the past two days, while the rest were found during an ongoing government audit.

Covid-19-related deaths are estimated to be higher than officially reported, with researchers saying they could be three times the reported figure.

Data collected by the South African Medical Research Council shows that there have been over 300,000 excess deaths from natural causes since the outbreak struck.

“Since May 3, 2020, there has been a cumulative total of 303,400 excess deaths from natural causes for all ages,” the council said in a report on Tuesday.

The excess mortality data was obtained from estimates of deaths that might have been expected to occur without an outbreak, according to a methodology used by a government -funded but independent research group.

“While more data is needed on (natural) causes of death, observations strongly support that a large part of the current surplus of deaths observed in South Africa is likely due to Covid-19,” he said. in a report on its website.

According to the council, 85,000 of the excess deaths occurred in the first year of the outbreak, 203,200 occurred last year, while more than 15,000 have occurred so far this year.

South Africa is the worst -hit country on the continent, accounting for more than 3.7 million cases of coronavirus or more than 30 percent of more than 11.3 million cases in Africa.

But it will destroy about 92,000 Pfizer vaccines that will expire on Thursday, the health ministry said in a statement.

It will be the first time South Africa – where 30 percent of the population is fully vaccinated – is throwing out the Covid vaccine, as intake is “declining”, the government said.

Nearly 900,000 more doses are expected to expire in May while 5.8 million will expire in June, with another 4.8 million reaching their use date in July.

President Cyril Ramaphosa last week lifted most of the remaining coronavirus restrictions as new infections declined and fewer deaths were reported.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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