SA records highest number of new Covid-19 cases in four months

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Jun 3, 2021

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South Africa has recorded the highest number of new Covid-19 infections in over four months, however some experts say this might only be the tip of the iceberg as test positivity steadily increases.

The country recorded an increase of 5 782 new cases and 110 Covid-19 related deaths yesterday.

Acting Executive Director at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), Prof Adrian Puren said the positivity rate or the number of positive results out of the total daily tests, has reached 12.7% today nationally.

Four provinces have already entered a third wave of Covid-19 infections, including the Northern Cape, Free State, North West and Gauteng.

“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,” he said.

Director of the KZN Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (Krisp) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Professor Tulio de Oliveira, said it is concerning that the majority of new cases were recorded in Gauteng.

“First time since February this year, South Africa has more than 5,000 Covid-19 infections. It is also worrying that we may be seeing only the tip of the iceberg as the testing positivity rate is at 12%.”

“The majority, i.e. 3000/5000 of the positives are in Gauteng, which is home to Johannesburg and Pretoria. Unfortunately, as predicted, Gauteng may have the largest 3rd wave... Not good, given the dense population of the economic powerhouse province of South Africa,” said De Oliveira in a series of tweets.

Dr Michelle Groome, Head of the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response at the NICD said: “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,”

The NICD has urged people to wear masks, practice good hand hygiene, maintain social distancing and limit social interactions as much as possible.

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