Thursday, 21 April 2022 09:40

SA's latest Covid-19 test positivity rate hits three-month high.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

South Africa's coronavirus test positivity rate climbed to the highest in more than three months, indicating that the number of undetected infections may be rising.

Of those tested for the virus on Wednesday 13.4%, or 2,846 cases, were found to be infected, the highest proportion since Jan. 13, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said in a statement. The rate has increased for four straight days.

Hospital admissions also jumped, rising to 68 on Wednesday, compared with an average of 18 in the seven days through April 19.

With many cases of the virus going undiagnosed, the positivity rate is seen as an indication of how fast the disease is spreading. Countries from South Africa to India are reporting rising infections, while experts are cautioning against dropping the mandate for people to wear masks on US airplanes as the virus lingers.

South Africa, along with neighboring Botswana, identified the highly infectious omicron variant in November. It was the first country to suffer a surge of infections because of the new variant, with daily records occurring in December.

While scientists have predicted the start of the next wave in late April or May, the government has said that vaccine coverage and the high rate of prior infections – as many as 80% of South Africans may already have had Covid-19 – should ease its impact.

There have been 3,746,424 infections and 100,211 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began. Excess death data, a measure of mortality against a historical average, shows that the figure could be three times as high.

Vaccination

South Africa has administered at least 34,366,442 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 29.3% of the country’s population.

During the last week reported, South Africa averaged about 36,267 doses administered each day. At that rate, it will take a further 323 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population.

Lockdown

As COVID-19 infections began to be reported around the world, many countries responded by shutting down places like schools, workplaces and international borders in order to contain the spread of the virus.

There is no one perfect statistic to compare the outbreaks different countries have experienced during this pandemic. Looking at a variety of metrics gives you a more complete view of the virus’ toll on each country.

South Africa COVID-19 data comes fromNational Institute for Communicable Diseases.