By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 10 748 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 690 973. This increase represents a 20.7% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases today are from KwaZulu-Natal (31%), followed by Western Cape (22%). Eastern Cape accounted for 16%; Gauteng accounted for 10%; Mpumalanga accounted 6%; Free State and Northern Cape accounted for 5% each; North West accounted for 4%; and Limpopo accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.
NICD said a further 170 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 79 421 to date.
Meanwhile as Covid-19 cases in KwaZulu-Natal soared past the 4 000 new infection mark, Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane has warned against complacency and "Covid-19 fatigue".
"In the face of rising new infections, citizens of the province can ill-afford to be complacent and not follow precautions," said Simelane.
She raised concerns many people have stopped taking non-pharmaceutical measures, such as wearing masks, washing their hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser, and practicing social distancing.
"We know that, perhaps because we talk about Covid-19 on a daily basis, people may feel like they're growing 'tired' of consuming this information. But the truth is that things are really getting bad.
"We've been saying in the past months that we were not in the third wave and it seemed as though when it would eventually come, we would not be hit that hard. But in the past two weeks or so, we've seen exponential growth in the number of new daily infections, which is extremely concerning."
"Instead of the numbers going down, they're rising. That is why we are pleading with the people of this province to adhere to non-pharmaceutical measures," said Simelane.
"Scientists have told us that the Delta virus that we are dealing with is a lot more infectious. That is manifesting in the high rate of infections among young people and at schools. We are seeing a lot of people dying because of Covid–19. It's something that we all should be worried about."
The increase in cases comes as vaccinations opened for all adults over 18 on Friday.