Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
2 minute read
31 Dec 2020
5:00 am

Covid count conundrum: Death statistics lag by weeks

Brian Sokutu

Processes that are followed in fatal cases delay updates of figures.

The isolation chamber equipped with a negative pressure filtration system used to transport positive Covid-19 patients in the City of Tshwane's Special Infection Unit vehicle at the Hatfield Emergency Station in Pretoria on 30 December 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The soaring numbers of Covid-19-related cases – overshadowing a seeming decrease in recorded infection cases – can easily confound nonexperts in coming to grips with the globally spreading coronavirus. President of the SA Medical Research Council, Professor Glenda Gray, said on Wednesday that behind the daily statistics given by the Department of Health, South Africans should – in analysing the numbers – understand there were processes followed when someone died due to the virus.“There is a two- to three-week lag before a death of someone due to Covid-19 is officially reported. This delay is due to the verification process, including...