Excess deaths in Johannesburg
  • Coronavirus cases are spiking dramatically in Gauteng.
  • So are excess deaths, new numbers released on Wednesday show.
  • Gauteng has seen a big spike in unexpected deaths from natural causes.
  • A lot of those were in Johannesburg.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Gauteng had 10,806 new cases of the coronavirus detected in the province in the previous 24 hours, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) announced on Wednesday night, setting a new one-day provincial record.

Six out of every ten cases detected were in Gauteng.

But the province was already seeing a big spike in deaths by Saturday, the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) weekly report on excess natural deaths – also released on Wednesday – shows, with unanticipated deaths particularly high in Johannesburg.

The weekly report measures excess mortality as deaths that can be attributed to crisis conditions.

Since the beginning of May 2020, South Africa has seen 173,000 excess deaths from natural causes, according to the SAMRC, of which 90,000 were in the 2021 year. A large majority of the unanticipated deaths were among people older than 60.

On a national level, the uptick in excess deaths is clear...

National excess deaths

... but nowhere near as dramatic as the spike seen in Gauteng.

SAMRC excess deaths in Gauteng

In the last week, nearly 60% of estimated excess deaths across South Africa were in Gauteng. 

That is in stark contrast to the findings for other big-population provinces, such as KwaZulu-Natal.

SAMRC excess deaths for KwaZulu-Natal

On a metro level, there were significant increases in excess deaths in Ekurhuleni...

SAMRC Ekurhuleni excess deaths

... and in Tshwane.

SAMRC excess deaths for Tshwane

But the most dramatic increase is in Johannesburg, which has exceeded estimate for excess mortality during the second wave of Covid-19.

SAMRC Joburg excess

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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