SA records 1,475 new cases with latest testing points to Covid-19 resurgence.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 1,475 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 743 582.
This increase represents a 9.9% positivity rate.
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 14 deaths, and of these, 3 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 100,195 to date.
A nine-week high in the positivity rates of Covid-19 tests in South Africa and the increasing incidence of virus fragments in wastewater indicate that there may be a resurgence of the virus in the country.
On Monday, 9.6% of those tested for the coronavirus, or 877 cases, were found to be infected, the highest proportion since 17 February, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said in a statement.
Last week the South African Medical Research Council said that the incidence of Covid particles in wastewater was increasing in three provinces.
With many cases of the virus going undiagnosed, the positivity rate is seen as an indication of how fast it’s spreading, while the presence of the coronavirus in wastewater is seen as an early warning of a rise in infections.
"Sewage water surveillance and National Health Laboratory Service data does suggest there is an increase in virus circulation and infections, "said Shabir Madhi, a vaccinologist who led vaccine trials in South Africa for AstraZeneca and Novavax, said by text message.
South Africa, together with Botswana, in November announced the discovery of the omicron variant and was the first country to experience an omicron-driven wave of infections with daily cases peaking at more than 26,000 a day in mid-December.
Still, Madhi has said that only one in 20 asymptomatic cases in South Africa may be detected and the number of daily tests has fallen in recent weeks as the country has eased measures to curb the spread of the virus.