SA records 8,561 new Covid-19 cases,clearly entering 4th wave.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 8,561 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,976,613. This increase represents a 16.5% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (72%), followed by Western Cape (7%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 6%. Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 4% respectively. Limpopo 3%, Free State 2% and Eastern Cape 1%. Northern Cape accounted for less than 1% of today’s new cases.
The proportion of positive new cases/total new tested today is 16.5% which higher than yesterday (10.7%). The 7-day average is 10.3% today, which is higher than yesterday (8.5%).
NICD said a further 28 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 89,871 to date.
Faculty of Health Sciences and professor of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand,Shabir Madhi, said Gauteng had already entered its fourth wave of Covid-19 infections.
Madhi said that this was based on the province's positivity rate of 19%. The positivity rate refers to the percentage of all Covid-19 tests that come back positive.
He said other provinces are likely to follow in the next three to four weeks.
NICD confirmed the increase in positive testing in Gauteng, and also pointed out "sustained increases in Covid-19 incidence" in other provinces.
"South Africa is clearly entering into the fourth wave, with seven provinces (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and the Western Cape) having sustained increases in Covid-19 incidence.
"The proportion testing positive in Gauteng has risen dramatically in the last two weeks.
Gauteng premier David Makhura said the province is ready for the fourth wave.
"We now know how to organise the health services to respond to the peak. So the assurances we have received from our teams from all our institutions is that they will do that which they did during the third wave which was worse."
"We were not overwhelmed during the third wave. And our health systems are ready for the fourth wave with vaccination increasing every day. We think we will even have a much much better outcome with the management of the fourth wave."