Monday, 06 December 2021 19:47

Covid-19 Daily Update: SA records 6381 new cases with 9 related deaths.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 6 381 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24-hours, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed infections to 3 038 075. This increase represents a 26.4% positivity rate. 

"The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (70%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (10%). Western Cape accounted for 6%; Mpumalanga accounted for 5%; Limpopo accounted for 3%; Free State and North West each accounted for 2%; Eastern Cape and Northern Cape each accounted for 1%."

NICD said a further 9 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 89 975 to date.

Globally, as of 3 December 2021, there have been 263 563 622 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5 232 562 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will be meeting to take stock of the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

This as new COVID-19 cases surged by nearly five-fold over the past weeks alone – rising from a positivity rate of about 2% to about 25%.

"We will soon be convening a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council to review the state of the pandemic. This will enable us to take whatever further measures are needed to keep people safe and healthy," the President said in his weekly newsletter on Monday.

Ramaphosa said although the steep rise in infections is a concern, the surge and the emergence of new variants like Omicron were to be expected.

"Disease modellers in our country have told us that we would likely experience a fourth wave around this time and that it was almost inevitable that new variants of the virus would emerge," he said.

Ahead of the meeting of the NCCC, the President urged people living in South Africa to take extra care and "not wait" for government to issue stricter guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.

"We should not wait for new regulations before we reduce the size of the gatherings, as research has shown this to be an effective means of reducing the spread of the virus. All public and private facilities, including workplaces, taxis, buses and trains, must ensure adequate ventilation to prevent the spread of the virus.

"Every facility that serves the public has a legal responsibility to ensure that people practice social distancing. We must reinvigorate our masking programme, where we insist on no entry into any public or business facility without a mask," said Ramaphosa.

He added that as cases continue to rise, the cancellation of big events during the festive season remains "by far the safest and most responsible thing to do now".

On the Omicron variant, he said although not much is currently known about it, government is hard at work to prepare for any impact it will have on the healthcare system.

"Scientists in our country and around the world are still hard at work to answer critical questions about the new Omicron variant, such as its transmissibility, its progression, whether it causes more severe disease and how effective vaccines will be against it.

"While we do not yet know what impact the Omicron variant will have on hospital admissions, we have been preparing hospitals to admit more patients, and we are investigating how we can quickly secure medication for treating COVID-19."