Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Pretoria: South Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout programme is gaining momentum with 221 417 vaccines administered on Tuesday.

According to the National Health Department, this pushes the cumulative total to 5 558 378, while 70 950 more people registered to receive their jab in the last 24 hours.

According to the latest data, the country detected 8 929 new COVID-19 infections, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 311 232.

The majority of new cases are from Gauteng (37%), followed by the Western Cape (19%).

The increase represents a 22.2% positivity rate, while a further 596 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing the tally to 67 676.

In addition, there were 808 more hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the trends in the coming week will be crucial to determine whether the peak of the third wave has been reached or not.

This is according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) which noted a drop in the testing rates the past two weeks.

“And while this may be reflective of a decreased need for testing due to decreased infections, access to testing has been limited in certain areas due to the social unrest,” said NICD’s, Dr Michelle Groome.

NICD’s Senior Medical Epidemiologist for Public Health Surveillance and Geospatial Modelling, Dr Harry Moultrie, said the national seven-day moving average of SARS-CoV-2 cases has declined since 6 July 2021, largely because of the decrease in Gauteng.

“The percentage testing positive, however, increased in Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, and Western Cape in week 28 compared to previous weeks,” he explained.

“While the percentage testing positive has decreased in Gauteng, Limpopo and North West, the percentage testing positive remained very high in these provinces,” he added.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as of 20 July, there are 190 671 330 confirmed cases, 4 098 758 deaths, and 3 568 861 733 administered vaccine doses.

Global view

The global number of new cases reported last week was over 3.4 million, a 12% increase as compared to the previous week.

Globally, the WHO said COVID-19 weekly case incidence increased with an average of about 490 000 cases reported each day over the past week compared to 400 000 reported daily in the previous week.

Meanwhile, almost 57 000 deaths were recorded.

“At this rate, it is expected that the cumulative number of cases reported globally could exceed 200 million in the next three weeks.”

Last week, all regions except the Americas and Africa noted an increase in case incidence. The Western Pacific region recorded the largest peak in case incidence as compared to the previous week, followed by the European region.

Despite efforts to extend vaccination coverage, the organisation said many countries across all six WHO regions continue to experience surges in COVID-19 cases.

Over the past week, the highest numbers of new cases were reported from Indonesia (350 273 new cases, 44% increase), the United Kingdom (296 447 new cases, 41% increase), Brazil (287 610 new cases, 14% decrease), India (268 843 new cases, 8% decrease), and the United States (216 433 new cases, 68% increase).

Globally, cases of the Alpha variant have been reported in 180 countries, while 130 have detected the Beta variant, 78 have the Gamma variant, and 124 reported cases of the Delta variant.