South African Government corrects false reports on mass burial sites

Reports suggesting one province in South Africa is preparing 1.5 million gravesites for potential mass burials are false, confirms the Gauteng Government.

Recent statements made by the Gauteng MEC for Health Dr. Bandile Masuku pertained to collective capacity the municipalities in the province can take, confirmed a Government statement in response to the erroneous media reports that have been circulating which suggest the country is bracing for mass burials as a result of COVID-19 deaths.

As of 8 July, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases reported 224 665 cases of COVID-19 in South Africa and 3,602 deaths, with 106,842 recoveries since COVID-19 arrived on South African shores on 8 March 2020.

The Gauteng province has overtaken the Western Cape as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, with a total of 75,015 cases; the Western Cape largely regarded as having reached its peak.

Considering the deaths reported globally as of today – 9 July 2020 – are 548,000, any suggestion that 1.5 million gravesites are being prepared for one province in South Africa is spurious to say the least.

Further, South Africa’s swift and early response to the pandemic with a strict lockdown and phased reopening has been widely lauded. Currently, the South African Government’s primary model makes projections for epidemic peaks in July and August, estimating between 34,000 and 50,000 deaths by November for the entire country.

Meanwhile, PANDA, a thinktank of actuaries and economists, have stated via BizNews that South Africa’s 7-day rolling average of deaths per million (DPM) is fractionally above 1, below that seen in the UK (14x), USA (8x), Ireland (14x) and Italy (13x).

The thinktank suggests that the peak in South Africa will occur late July to August and that between 10,000 and 15,000 deaths, equal to the country’s annual road fatalities, can be expected.

Click here to read the official Gauteng Government statement.