Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)

SA’s Covid-19 cases inch closer to 500 000 mark with 193 new deaths reported

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Jul 31, 2020

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Durban - More than 11 000 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in South Africa in the last 24 hours, bringing the country's cumulative count to 493 183.

There have also been 193 new deaths reported.

According to National Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, eight people in the Eastern Cape, 103 in Gauteng, 36 from KwaZulu-Natal, 33 from the Western Cape and 13 from Mpumalanga succumbed to Covid-19-related illnesses since his department’s last report.

He said this brings the cumulative number of deaths to 8005.

The number of recoveries currently stands at 326 171 which translates to a recovery rate of 66%.

Mkhize added that the total number of tests conducted to date is 2 959 535 with 41 486 new tests conducted in the last 24 hours.

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, testing summary showed that in the period from March 1 until July 25, 2,506,421 laboratory tests for SARS-CoV-2 have been conducted nationally.

The report showed that the percentage testing positive in week 30 (19-25 July) was 31.2% and remained the same as the previous week (31.7%).

Furthermore, KwaZulu-Natal province (35%) had the highest percentage testing positive.

"The percentage testing positive increased in KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Northern Cape provinces, while decreases were observed in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, North West and Gauteng," the Testing Summary report revealed.

The NICD also released their Weekly Epidemiology Brief showed that as of July 25, a total of 445 432 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 were reported in SA.

The report found that in week 30, the Free State reported the highest number of weekly incidence risk followed by Gauteng.

"Among the four provinces which contribute the majority of cases in South Africa, the estimated doubling time of number of cases continued to increase in week 29, increased to 54.9 days in Western Cape Province, 29.6 days in Gauteng Province, 18.7 days in Eastern Cape Province and 12.4 days in KwaZulu-Natal," the report revealed.

The NICD's report on Weekly Sentinel Hospital Surveillance showed that as of July 25, 33 401 Covid-19 admissions were reported from 321 facilities.

The majority of Covid-19 admissions were reported from four provinces:

  • 13617 (41%) in Western Cape
  • 9055 (27%) in Gauteng
  • 4755 (14%) in KwaZulu-Natal
  • 2153 (6%) in Eastern Cape.

According to the report, admissions in the Western Cape seem to have plateaued in the past two weeks.

"Of the 33 401 admissions, 6 886 (21%) patients were in hospital at the time of this report, 21 502 (64%) patients were discharged alive or transferred out and 5 013 (15%) patients had died. The CFR in patients who had diabetes only (420/1 872, 22%), increased in diabetics with two (927/3126, 30%) and three or more (602/1751, 34%) comorbid conditions," the report noted.

The report also showed that diabetics with chronic renal disease (241/547, 44%) and obesity (146/292, 50%) had the highest Case Fatality Rate (CFR).

"Of the 12 771 patients admitted in the public sector, most patients were admitted to district hospitals (4 653, 36%), national central hospitals (4 071, 32%) and regional hospitals (2 407, 19%). CFR was highest in regional (27%), provincial tertiary (27%), national central (27%) and district hospitals (23%)," the report said.

Key highlights of the NICD's report on private consultations showed that the reduction in total numbers of respiratory hospitalisations as a result of the lockdown has reversed and numbers are now exceeding those preceding the national lockdown.

The report found that a sustained increase in proportion of respiratory hospitalisations among 5-19, 20- 49 and ≥50 years and in all four provinces evaluated likely reflects increasing respiratory cases including Covid-19 cases.

"Increasing percentage of casualty visits coded as respiratory is observed, reaching very high levels in individuals aged 20-49 years and ≥50 years," the report said.

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