National excess deaths, seen as a more precise way of measuring total fatalities from the coronavirus, rose to 203 000 during the coronavirus pandemic, the South African Medical Research Council said.
The number of excess deaths, which is measured against a historical average, recorded between May 3, 2020 and July 17 this year, the SAMRC said in a report Wednesday. Thats about triple the official death toll of about 68 000 from the disease.
The number of excess deaths rose for a fifth week in South Africa to 10 000 in the week to July 17 as a third wave of infections continues to take hold in the country. That exceeded the peak of a first wave of infections in July last year but was below the 15 926 recorded at the peak of the second in January.
Excess deaths rose to pandemic-era records in both Gauteng, where one-in-four South Africans live, and North West province, during the week.
Officially South Africa is the nation worst-hit by the coronavirus on the continent, with over 2.3 million confirmed infections. Still, with 5.83 million doses administered, it’s also vaccinated more people than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa. On Wednesday a record 257 492 shots were administered.