Deaths From South Africa’s Covid-19 Resurgence May Have Peaked

The number of people dying from Covid-19 during a resurgence of the disease may have peaked, according to a report on excess deaths published by the South African Medical Research Council.

The number of excess deaths, a measure of mortality over what would normally be expected from natural causes, fell to 13,374 in the week ending Jan. 23 from a crest of 15,486 the week earlier, the SAMRC said in a statement on Thursday.

The SAMRC said 125,744 excess deaths have been recorded since May 3 in South Africa. That compares with an official death toll of 42,550, the most in Africa.

“It will probably be some years before we have the information about the medical cause of death and so we cannot distinguish between deaths directly associated with Covid-19 and those that may has resulted due to the health system being over-burdened” said Debbie Bradshaw, chief specialist Scientist at the SAMRC and a co-author of the report, in the statement.

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