Pandemic is at a turning point, says vaccinologist
The coronavirus pandemic is at a turning point, according to Prof Shabir Madhi, a vaccinologist who led vaccine trials in SA for AstraZeneca and Novavax. Excess mortality is already on a downward trend and was a blip compared with that experienced in past waves, said Madhi.
On December 6, Bloomberg News reported that the number of excess deaths - a measure of mortality against a historical average - in the week to December 26, fell to 3 016 from 3 087 a week earlier. According to the SA Medical Research Council official deaths due to Covid-19 declined to 425 from 428, the first decline in three weeks. While official deaths from the coronavirus during the pandemic in SA have been tallied at 91 561, the excess death figure is more than 286 000 as official mortality data on Covid-19 doesn’t capture all deaths from the disease, especially in poorer countries like SA.