The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, continues to observe a sustained increase in the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa. “Today we saw a sharp increase in daily cases, with 5 782 new cases being reported,” says NICD Acting Executive Director, Prof Adrian Puren.
The percent testing positive each day (i.e. the number of positive results out of the total daily tests) has also been steadily increasing – this reached 12.7% today nationally. Four provinces have already entered a third wave of COVID-19 infections – Northern Cape Province, Free State Province, North West Province and most recently Gauteng Province. “This means that the 7-day moving average of case incidence has reached 30% of the previous peak in these provinces. We are also seeing sustained increases in case incidence in some districts in other provinces,” Puren adds.
As the pandemic continues into its second year, it is easy to become tired of the restrictions on our lives and social interactions, but it is very important for the public to remain vigilant at this time. We have vaccinated just over 1 million people in South Africa. “Until such time as the majority of the population has been vaccinated, we need to persevere with the current recommendations to limit the spread of the virus,” urges Dr Michelle Groome, Head of the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response at the NICD.
NICD further calls the public to Wear their mask, practice good hand hygiene (through washing and/or sanitising), maintain social distancing and limit social interactions as much as possible. Those who are 60 years and over, please register on EVDS to get your vaccine or ask someone to help you to register.