Thursday, 21 April 2022

Pretoria: South Africa has recorded 4 406 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the overall number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 750 830, said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Thursday.

This rise reflects a 15.8% positivity rate.

“There may be a backlog of COVID-19 mortality cases reported due to the current audit effort by the National Department of Health (NDoH). Today, the NDoH reports 65 fatalities, with 5 occurring during the last 24 to 48 hours. This puts the overall number of fatalities to 100 276,” the NICD said.

The majority of new cases are from Gauteng (49%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (22%).  The Western Cape accounted for 15%; Eastern Cape 5%; Free State, Mpumalanga and North West 2% each; Limpopo and Northern Cape 1%.

A total 24 262 108 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.

“The public should exercise caution in interpreting these data, as there may be changes in test patterns. An early warning indicator, the Wastewater Detection surveillance, shows an increase in Gauteng,” said NICD Executive Director, Prof Adrian Puren.

The report summarises and interprets findings from the detection, quantification and sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases Centre for Vaccines and Immunology from influent (untreated) wastewater in 17 wastewater treatment plants from five provinces.

Puren said there is currently no evidence that the Omicron variant of concern is being displaced as the dominant circulating variant. In a statement on Thursday, the NICD said it continues to monitor various data sources related to the evolving nature of South Africa’s COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, there has been an increase of 66 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours, with evidence of small increases in COVID-19 hospitalisation in Gauteng, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.

“However, we have seen no increases in COVID-19 hospital deaths,” said Dr Waasila Jassat, lead of the DATCOV COVID-19 National Hospital Surveillance at the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response.

The DATCOV hospital surveillance platform monitors COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital in all provinces.