As of today, a cumulative total of 238 339 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa have been reported with 13 674 new cases identified. Gauteng has surpassed the Western Cape as the epicentre and now has the most infections with 81 546, followed by the Western Cape with 74 815. The total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the country is 3 720. The number of recoveries is 113 061, which translates to a recovery rate of 47,4%. Furthermore, there have been 348 Muslim deaths since the start of the pandemic, majority of them in the Western Cape.
Monitor group, Muslim Stats SA have been collating the figures of Muslim covid19 deaths in South Africa. Initially, there was some criticism of why this sort of data was needed but the group has made some very interesting observations.
Muslim Stats SA founder, Muhammad Wadee said the group was designed for one purpose initially but it multiplied as time progressed.
“It was created with the hope that we may somehow create either a solution or prevention mechanism that will curb the virus from spreading within the muslim community,” said Wadee.
Wadee said the group has made several observations.
“We see that the percentage collated is increasing. We are averaging at around 7.5%. However we have come up to 9.3% in South Africa which is extremely high considering we have a population of 2%.”
Wadee believes that collating the stats for the Muslim community has brought light to the seriousness of the matter.
“We are under the impression that people would not have realized the large amount of deaths in the community, when people see the cumulative total it does put the situation into perspective,” stated Wadee.
“We have seen that people who initially had their reservations about the disease have backtracked their statements because of the evidence provided that it affects every single person with directly or indirectly,” said Wadee.
The data by Muslim Stats SA is captured in various ways explained Wadee.
“First is when a person is admitted to hospital or prior to that they are tested positive once falling ill, secondly, we have patient under investigation where a person dies and is tested for the disease after death and the results either come back conclusive or not.”
Wadee however explained a new term that is used in the medical fraternity when dealing with inconclusive coronavirus results.
“Laboratories are not saying that a person is negative, they are calling it ‘not detected’ this could happen when it is either a poor specimen or inappropriate time if you test too early and the viral load is not high enough then you would get a false negative,” stated Wadee.
Wadee explained that demographics has seen a shift from elderly people to younger in age.
“Initially we only had people passing away who were over the age of 50 and 60 but a large portion of people that we are seeing come in is between ages of 80 and 90 but what is even more alarming is we are beginning to see people in their 30s and 40s dying because of comorbidities,” said Wadee.
Wadee said moving forward a model will be created to determine trends of deaths in the muslim community especially with peak of the pandemic edging closer.