Coronavirus: Higher COVID risk for black patients than white says South Africa report

A nurse draws blood at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto on July 14, 2020. (AFP)

A report in South Africa says there is a higher risk of Black or mixed-race patients dying of COVID-19 in the country’s hospitals than white patients.

A report by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases indicates the association but doesn’t go into detail. South Africa has released little data by race during the coronavirus pandemic.

The country has the world’s fifth largest virus caseload with more than 579,000 confirmed cases and ranks No. 13 with more than 11,000 deaths, according to the tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The report says overall, 18 percent of people with coronavirus admitted to hospitals die. Public hospitals are generally more poorly funded than private hospitals.

The report includes data from more than 150 public and private hospitals across the country. According to the 2011 census, 86 percent of South Africans are Black or mixed race, with 9 percent white.

A health worker takes a nasal swab from a patient to test for COVID-19 in Cape Town, South Africa on July 23, 2020. (AP)

A health worker takes a nasal swab from a patient to test for COVID-19 in Cape Town, South Africa on July 23, 2020. (AP)

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 760,739 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Saturday.

At least 21,242,070 cases have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 12,988,000 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

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Last Update: Saturday, 15 August 2020 KSA 18:27 - GMT 15:27
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