SA records 6,372 new COVID-19 cases with wastewater samples predicting fifth wave.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 6,372 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,776,298.
The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (49%), followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal (23%). Western Cape accounted for 14%; Free State and Eastern Cape each accounted for 4% respectively; Mpumalanga accounted for 3%; North West accounted for 2%; and Limpopo and Northern Cape each accounted for 1% respectively of today’s new cases.
This increase represents a 21.1% positivity rate.
The proportion of positive new cases/total new tested today is (21.1%), and is higher than yesterday (18.4%). The 7-day average is (18.0%) today, and is higher than yesterday (16.9%).
Today, the NDoH reports 3 deaths that occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 100,351 to date.
There has been an increase of 62 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.
Wastewater samples in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Free State, and the Western Cape are showing signs of sustained higher levels of the coronavirus.
The National Wastewater Based Surveillance programme screens municipal wastewater for viruses to help inform broader infectious disease control efforts.
The latest signs suggest a new wave is here.
Jay Bhagwan, the executive manager of Water Use and Waste Management at the Water Research Commission, said: "What we've seen over the last few weeks is a sudden rise and a consistent rise in that RNA copies in the wastewater.
"And why it's useful is it picks up both the infected and the asymptomatic people in the community that are showing signs or have this virus infection. So technically what we've seen over the last three weeks is a 1-to-2 to a-3 log consistent increase in the RNA copies, and that tells you around 100-200 percent increase in numbers and that's a concern. And once we see that pattern it starts telling us that we're heading to a possible fifth wave very very soon."