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.