Thursday, 31 March 2022 21:34

SA records 1,888 new COVID-19 cases with 12 related deaths.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 1,888 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,718,953. 

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (39%), followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal (22%). Western Cape accounted for 21%; Eastern Cape and Free State each accounted for 4% respectively; Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 3% respectively; and Northern Cape accounted for 1% of today’s new cases. 

This increase represents a 6.4% positivity rate.

The proportion of positive new cases/total new tested today is 6.4%, and is the same as yesterday (6.4%). The 7-day average is 5.9% today, and is the same yesterday (5.9%)

Due to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of COVID-19 mortality cases reported. Today, the NDoH reports 12 deaths and of these, 1 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 100,032 to date.

Still, the actual number of Covid-19 related deaths may be triple that toll, studies by the South African Medical Research Council that track the number of deaths above the historical norm show.

The number of fatalities surpassed 60,000 in late June last year, as the country contended with a third wave of infections that was primarily driven by the delta variant. President Cyril Ramaphosa responded by raising the nation’s coronavirus alert status, banning all gatherings and closing schools for two weeks.

The omicron strain, which was first identified in South Africa in samples taken in early November, subsequently displaced delta. The mortality rate then slowed, adding to evidence that omicron causes milder disease than other variants even though it is more transmissible, and curbs were progressively relaxed.

Health officials are keeping a close eye on the omicron sub-variant BA.2, which appears to be even more transmissible than the original strain and accounted for almost a fifth of the country’s coronavirus cases in January.

A resurgence in the delta variant, albeit small, is also attracting some attention as it increases the risk of a potential new combined strain.

Scientists advising the government have said they expect a fifth wave of infections to hit at the end of May.