Corona virus and healthcare in South Africa

Healthcare in South Africa

Healthcare in South Africa is slightly below average in a worldwide comparison.

Probably the most important indicator that can be used to summarize the efficiency of all measures is general life expectancy. In other words, the theoretical age that a newborn child could potentially reach today. At the moment this age in South Africa is 60.5 years for men and 67.4 years for women. For comparison: worldwide life expectancy is about 8.7 years lower (men: 70.4 / women: 74.9 years).

Back to overview: South Africa

Distribution of the corona virus

Spread of the corona virus in South Africa

The inhabitants of South Africa are also affected by the corona pandemic and the spread of the Sars-Covid-19 virus. By September 19th, 2020, 659656 infected persons and 15940 deaths have been reported in the country. The first confirmed infections were reported on March 5th, 2020, which is the date of the official notification. An additional 10-14 days are calculated for noticing one's own infection, the doctor's appointment, the laboratory test and, above all, the period from the infection until the first symptoms appear. The country reached its peak so far on July 24th with 13,944 new infected persons.

Covid 19 virus infected in South Africa
Deaths caused by the Covid19 virus in South Africa

The first graph shows the number of infected persons reported. The second graph shows the number of deaths.

Mortality rate of infected persons

From the previously infected and deceased people, in South Africa results in a mortality rate of 2.4%. However, it should be borne in mind that death occurs an average of 19 days after the first symptoms appear. The time of the actual infection is therefore followed by several days until a person affected has a medical test carried out and the results are available. In order to quantify mortality more precisely, one would therefore have to compare the deaths that have occurred to date with those reported 644,438 infected up to 10 days ago. This gives in South Africa a new mortality rate of 2.5%.

Due to the current corona pandemic, we update the worldwide case numbers daily. A list of all infected and dead people by country can be found on our Corona virus topic page.

Development in the last days

DateInfected Deaths 
Sat 19th2,029+0.3%83+0.5%
Fri 18th2,055+0.3%85+0.5%
Thu 17th2,128+0.3%67+0.4%
Wed 16th1,923+0.3%64+0.4%
Tue 15th772+0.1%142+0.9%
Mon 14th956+0.1%52+0.3%
Sun 13th1,579+0.2%20+0.1%
Sat 12th1,816+0.3%49+0.3%
Fri 11th1,960+0.3%113+0.7%
Thu 10th2,007+0.3%97+0.6%

Weight and size

Body height168 cm159 cm
Weight70.8 kg74.6 kg


South AfricaØ worldwide
Diabetes *12.70%8.81%
HIV / Aids0.87%0.04%

* The number of people suffering from diabetes refers only to inhabitants aged between 20 and 79 years.

Child vaccinations

South AfricaØ worldwide
Hepatitis B0.07%0.08%
DTP *7.40%8.59%

* DTP is a three times combined basic vaccination against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus, which should be given to children up to the age of 23 months.
In South Africa, 20.3% of all over 15-year-olds are still smokers.
14 percent of newborns are underweight.

Medical supplies

The medical care provided by doctors and hospitals in South Africa is above average, but is not as good as the average within the EU. The country provides 2.8 hospital beds per 1000 inhabitants. The worldwide average here is 2.7 beds and within the EU there are even 5.6 beds for every 1000 inhabitants.

With about 53,300 physicians in South Africa, there are about 0.91 doctors per 1000 inhabitants. Here again the comparison: worldwide this standard is 1.50 physicians per 1000 inhabitants and in the EU even 3.57.

Through medical care, the mortality rate of major known diseases can be reduced as far as possible. For example, only about 26 percent of all people who suffer from cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or chylomicron retention disease (CRD) currently die.


Above data correspond to the information of the World Health Organization, Global Health Workforce Statistics, UNICEF, State of the World's Children, Childinfo, Global Health Observatory Data Repository and OECD. The daily case numbers for the spread of the corona virus come from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).