By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 10,139 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,605,586. This increase represents a 21% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases today are from KwaZulu-Natal (28%), followed by Western Cape (26%). Eastern Cape accounted for 13%; Gauteng Province accounted for 12%; Free State accounted for 5%; Mpumalanga, North West and Northern Cape each accounted for 4% respectively; and Limpopo Province accounted for 3% of today’s new cases.
NICD said a further 272 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 77,141 to date.
Meanwhile KwaZulu-Natal has officially entered the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Sunday.
He placed the blame for the surge in infections on the recent unrest, saying "the increase in new infections is due to large gatherings during the recent lootings".
Over the past week, the province saw a 31% increase in infections, while the hospitalisation of Covid-19 patients had also increased by 16%, he said.
"The province has, for the past three consecutive days, recorded more than 3 000 new cases, and is reporting the second-highest number of daily confirmed cases."
Over 800 pupils and teachers had tested positive.
He said the flouting of regulations by certain entertainment establishments had also contributed to the current rise in infections.
"We are aware of pubs and restaurants flouting Covid-19 regulations by letting people in their establishments after curfew with no social distancing."
As a result, Zikalala said the provincial government had instructed the security cluster to look closely into this.
"We are going to take a hard line against those who undermine regulations... We don't want a situation where we have to revoke people's licences because we want to see everyone recover from the economic effect of the pandemic," he said.
On the vaccine front, Zikalala said the province was vaccinating nearly 30 000 people a day, but the aim was to vaccinate 60 000 people a day in the coming weeks.