SA records 10,017 new COVID-19 cases with a 25.3% positivity rate.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 10,017 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,862,165.
The majority of new cases are in Gauteng (39%), followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal (21%). Western Cape accounted for 17%; Eastern Cape and Free State each accounted for 6% respectively; Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 3% respectively; Northern Cape accounted for 2%; and Limpopo accounted for 1% of today’s new cases.
This increase represents a 25.3% positivity rate.
The proportion of positive new cases/total new tested today is (25.3%), and is higher than yesterday (23.0%). The 7-day average is (25.1%) today, and is higher than yesterday (24.7%).
Today, the NDoH reports 50 deaths and of these 10 deaths occurred in the past 24 to 48 hours. The cumulative COVID-19 deaths are 100,609 to date.
Health minister Joe Phaahla says that South Africa is not yet in the fifth wave of Covid-19 infections, but as the country enters winter, the risk of a greater wave of infections is apparent.
"As a country, we have witnessed four waves of Covid-19 and we are now (speculating) as to whether we are already in the fifth wave, or it is still coming.
"Indications at this stage are that we are not yet in the fifth wave, but as the cold weather takes hold and we spend more time indoors, the risk of the fifth wave continues to loom large," he said.
Tabling his department's budget in parliament on Tuesday, Phaahla said that the government will not drop measures to help with the response to the Covid-19 virus, and reiterated its intentions to use the country’s Health Act in managing infections going forward.
The comment period for consultation on the health regulations has been extended to 5 August 2022, and comments on the regulations can be submitted to email@example.com.
According to Phaahla, over 35.2 million vaccinations have been administered to just over 19.7 million adults, representing 49.5% of the adult population. Futhermore, around 70% of the population has come into contact with the virus in some way, adding some immunity and natural protections.
However, he stressed that this protection is temporary, and vaccines remain the best option to combat Covid-19 and its variants. R2 billion has been budgeted to continue the health department’s vaccination programme.
Speaking to Health-e News, Public Health Specialist Lead of the National Covid Hospital Surveillance at the NICD, Dr Waasila Jassat, said that the recent jump in infections can be partially attributed to the virus infecting more children, who have much lower vaccine coverage.
Currently, the goverment only allows for children over the age of 12 to be vaccinated. However, Jassat said that the ministerial advisory committee is currently working on an advisory on vaccinating 5 to 12-year-olds.