Being a politically astute politician – this savviness goes back to his days as premier of a fractious KwaZulu-Natal – it was unlikely that Health Minister Zweli Mkhize would not respond to the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) reporting a 59% rise in excess natural deaths between May and July compared to historical data.
The possibility of Covid-19 deaths not being accurately recorded would raise yet another spectre in a flailing health system already dealing with crises over a lack of beds, oxygen supplies and personal protective equipment. In addition, there are questions over delays of up to nine days in coronavirus test results and the tracing of contacts of Covid-19 patients.
Shared by Professor Shabir Moosa
Professor Moosa is a family physician in Soweto, Johannesburg. His interests are family medicine, community-oriented primary health care, and health management.