SA records 3 237 new COVID-19 cases with an 18.7% positivity rate.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), reports 3 237 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 844 625.
The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng Province (52%) followed by KwaZulu-Natal (20%). Western Cape accounted for 11%; Eastern Cape and Free State each accounted for 5% respectively. Mpumalanga, North West and Northern Cape each accounted for 2% respectively; and Limpopo accounted for 1% of today’s new cases.
This increase represents an 18.7% positivity rate.
The proportion of positive new cases/total new tested today is (18.7%), and is lower than yesterday (25.3%). The 7-day average is (24.0%) today, and is lower than yesterday (24.3%).
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 10 deaths, and of these, 4 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 100,533 to date.
South Africa has reported a rapid increase in new Covid-19 cases over the last week – however, the number of reported deaths remains relatively low.
South Africa's daily coronavirus test positivity rate neared a record on Saturday (7 May), rising above 30% for the first time in almost five months as two sublineages of the omicron variant spread rapidly ahead of the nation’s winter season.
Despite this rapid increase in cases the country will not need to reintroduce lockdown restrictions, health and social security expert Professor Alex van den Heever said.
He pointed to the fact that South Africa follows a clear trend of increasing cases around July and December, with a combination of prior infections and vaccinations providing sufficient immunity for the population.
"The waves consistently peak at the national level in July and December. Only the provincial starting point varies. There will be no need for going into a lockdown. Prior infections and vaccinations appear sufficient to prevent severe illness at a population level. This is likely to be the pattern indefinitely."
This was echoed by Professor Mosa Moshabela, associate professor and deputy vice-chancellor of research and innovation at UKZN.
"I think the biggest burden is gonna be on us as South Africans. Most people are going to have infections that won't end up in hospital but they could have long covid, making it difficult for people to go to work and it may end up spreading to people with vulnerabilities," he said.
"I think we have to take it upon ourselves to protect those among us who are vulnerable and avoid the burden of long covid and other complications of Covid."