Covid-19 deaths in SA: Majority of people suffered from comorbidities

A nurse performs a swab test for Covid-19.
A nurse performs a swab test for Covid-19.
Michele Spartari, AFP
  • 56% of the 2 456 people who have died due to Covid-19, suffered from comorbidities.
  • Of those who had comorbidities, hypertension and diabetes were the most prevalent.
  • As of 28 June, 657 people diagnosed with Covid-19 are in ICU.

As of Sunday, South Africa had recorded 2 456 Covid-19 related deaths, with 56% of the deceased suffering from comorbidities, according to the Department of Health.

As the rate of Covid-19 infections and deaths begins to climb exponentially in country, comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, lung cancers and kidney diseases are the most prevalent underlying factors in patients who have reportedly died of the virus.

According to health department spokesperson Popo Maja, 56% - which translates to around 1 375 - of the people who died due to Covid-19 had suffered from comorbidities.

READ | Covid-19: Diabetes, hypertension and HIV - what Western Cape's deaths data shows

Maja added that most people also suffered from more than one underlying condition.

To date, of the 1 375 Covid-19 related deaths with comorbidities, hypertension accounted for 59% (811.25) and diabetes for 52% (715).


News24 previously reported that Western Cape data from earlier in June showed that 65% of people who died of Covid-19 suffered from more than one comorbidity.

The provincial data also found diabetes and hypertension to be the more prevalent underlying factors in patients who died.

As the majority of people who have died from Covid-19 suffered comorbidities, Maja appealed for people with comorbidities to stay at home and only leave the house when absolutely necessary.

READ | Covid-19 and obesity: risks explained

"Covid-19 is the worst pandemic in modern times. There’s no cure. But we can all play our part in preventing the spread," Maja said.

He added that, as of Sunday 28 June, a total of 657 people from across the country whoe were diagnosed with Covid-19 were being treated in ICU in public and private hospitals.

To date, a total of 258 people in both public and private hospitals are on ventilators.

Meanwhile, 68 925 recoveries have been recorded.

Number of deaths by province
Western Cape: 1 764

Eastern Cape: 387

Gauteng: 174

KwaZulu-Natal: 109

Free State: 9

Limpopo: 5

North West: 5

Mpumalanga: 2

Northern Cape: 1

As of Sunday, a total of 138 134 confirmed cases of Covid-19 had been recorded in South Africa.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said there had been a rapid rise in positive cases, indicating, as expected, that a surge was approaching during the late winter months of July and August.

READ | Gauteng will overtake Western Cape with most Covid-19 cases in coming days, says Mkhize

"It is anticipated that, while every province will unfortunately witness and increase in their numbers, areas where there is high economic activity will experience an exponential rise, beginning with Gauteng and Western Cape, and followed by Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal," he said.

Mkhize added that in, the coming days, it was expected that Gauteng would overtake the Western Cape as the province with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Confirmed cases by province

Western Cape: 60 445

Gauteng: 36 895

Eastern Cape: 25 099

KwaZulu-Natal: 8 433

North West: 3 647

Free State: 1 279

Mpumalanga: 1016

Limpopo: 935

Northern Cape: 385

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