MRC research on COVID-19 Excess deaths – Our views

Recently, the Medical Research Council (MRC) issued reports which concluded that SA COVID-19 related deaths might be significantly higher than the official reported data. In its latest report, the MRC research estimated 22 279 excess natural deaths for the period 6 May to 21 July, while the official COVID-19 death count for this period was 5 837.

We engaged with the researchers at the MRC over the past week regarding their analysis. In our view, the MRC estimates may be overstated, as their selection of the base for comparison raises several questions. We believe the weekly excess deaths estimates should be considered with caution.