PANDA makes sense of some ‘excess death’ myths
Date: 22 October 2020
JOHANNESBURG, 22 October 2020: Today, PANDA is publishing a new report examining the accuracy of the excess deaths due to the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa.
There is a persistent narrative that South Africa’s official COVID-19 death tally is significantly undercounted because reported excess deaths are higher than the official COVID-19 death toll.
Of particular concern are two popular ‘myths’ being propagated throughout the public discourse, namely that all official COVID-19 deaths are excess deaths, and most excess deaths are COVID-19 deaths.
This report examined these myths and the associated statistics, and found that the ‘excess death’ methodology in South Africa is controversial. It is difficult to determine how many of those deaths were actually COVID-19 deaths at this stage.
All indicators suggest that lockdown has led to an increase in deaths and that this is what the excess death numbers tell us. It was entirely foreseeable that lockdown would cause deaths, and these deaths should have been factored into government policy.
The cure should not kill more people than the disease. Of course it would serve the government’s interests to blame these deaths on COVID-19 but there is no evidence to suggest that this is the case. In our country, lockdown-related deaths can reasonably be expected to represent a significant contributor to the total excess deaths.
Issued on behalf of PANDA by Stratagem Consultants