Report on Weekly Deaths in South Africa

Basic demographic information for all deaths registered by the Department of Home Affairs on the National Population Register are provided to the SAMRC. In the context of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, it has become essential to track the weekly number of deaths, particularly from natural causes.

Since the weekly number of deaths has a seasonal trend, we have used data from 2018 and 2019 to predict the weekly number of deaths that could be expected during 2020, taking the seasonality into account.

  • The weekly number of deaths up till 21 July 2020 are generally within the bounds of expectation based on the historical data.
  • The numbers in the most recent weeks are noticeably lower than predicted as a result of a decline in the number of deaths from non-natural causes such as road traffic fatalities and homicide.
  • Deaths from natural causes show no unusual sign of increase by 21 July 2020 among people less than 60 years or those over 60 years.

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