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Actual SA COVID-19 Toll Could Be Much Higher – Report

Members of the Saaberie Chishty Burial Society prepare the corpse of a person who died from COVID-19 at the Avalon Cemetery in Lenasia, Johannesburg Saturday Dec. 26, 2020. Officials say a record number of more than 14,305 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed and there is not yet a sign of South Africa reaching a peak. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed).

COVID-19 fatalities could be much higher than official figures suggest.

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) says there were more than 145 000 excess natural deaths over the past ten months.

The SAMRC does not give details on the cause of these extra deaths but estimates that between 85 and 95 percent are attributable to COVID-19.

This means that South Africa’s actual death toll from Covid-19 is estimated to be between 114 000 and 128 000, compared to 46 473 “official” deaths reported by the health department as of 8 February.

They were recorded between May and February.

So far, the health ministry has recorded over 1.5 million coronavirus cases, of which more than 50,000 have been fatal.

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