Covid-19 update: SA reports 8,351 new cases in 24 hours

South Africa has identified 8,351 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, announced the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service.

This brings the total number of laboratory confirmed cases to 3,879,434. This increase represents a 22.5% positivity rate.

Most of the new cases today come from Gauteng (40%), followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal (19%). Western Cape accounted for 18%; The Eastern Cape accounted for 7%; Free State accounted for 6%; Mpumalanga, North West and Northern Cape accounted for 3% each respectively; and Limpopo accounted for 1% of new cases today.

The country also reported 114 deaths * and of these, 3 deaths occurred in the past 24-48 hours. The cumulative deaths from Covid-19 are 100,744 to date.

According to the NDoH, keep in mind that the North West reported 92 retrospective deaths today due to data cleansing and the Free State reported 11 retrospective deaths today. Some of the retrospective deaths have merged with the cumulative case line list only recently, due to incorrect first and last names being acquired in the DATCOV system, ‚ÄĚNICD said.

24,841,314 tests were conducted in both the public and private sectors.

There has been an increase of 136 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

Fifth wave of Covid-19 in SA

The World Health Organization (WHO) in Africa has urged leaders in the SADC region to strengthen their response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as infections increase dramatically.

On Thursday, National Health Minister Joe Phaahla confirmed that South Africa has entered the fifth wave, with lineage-led infections from Omicron BA.4 and BA.5.

The fifth wave could resemble the previous one in size and severity, according to health experts.

“Since the beginning of April, South Africa alone has recorded more than 1,300 cases of the Omicron BA.2 sub-variant and over 700 cases of the BA.4 sub-variant,” said the WHO Africa Regional Director. Abdou Salam Gueye.

The African continent recorded 52,878 cases of Covid-19 in the week ending May 8, which represents a 38% increase from the week before, reports Power FM.

“This is largely due to a peak in southern Africa, which accounted for 87 percent of the continent’s registered cases, interrupting a two-month drop in registered infections,” Gueye said.

The fifth wave of infections comes amid relaxed health and social measures that were implemented at the start of the pandemic.

Health officials are urging South Africans to receive their jabs and boosters to prevent high transmission rates.

Additional reporting by Narissa Subramoney