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Covid-19 in SA: Over 9700 new infections as positivity rate hits 26%

A woman wears a mask in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

A woman wears a mask in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Published May 5, 2022

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PRETORIA - The Department of Health was to hold a press briefing on Friday on the latest developments in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

It comes against a backdrop of an impending fifth wave of Covid-10 as South Africa’s Covid-19 test positivity rate hit a 25.9% increase by Thursday.

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The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported 9 757 new Covid-19 cases in the country.

On Thursday, the Department of Health reported a total of 64 deaths, of which seven occurred between Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the number of fatalities to 100 471 in total.

The majority of cases recorded are in Gauteng, with 32.9%, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 17.9%, and the Western Cape accounting for 17.4% of new cases.

Two Omicron sub-variants are driving an increase in Covid-19 cases in South Africa and could push the country over the threshold for a fifth wave.

According to the NICD, data collected up to April 30, 2022, shows that the percentage of people testing positive increased in all age groups, with the highest increase in the 10 to 14 age group.

Meanwhile, according to Dr Harsha Somaroo, public health medicine specialist at the University of the Witwatersrand, the health system should be prepared for a potential increase in admissions.

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“The recent increase in the number of new Covid-19 cases that have been diagnosed, and increased viral transmission throughout the country, are significant and warrant early mitigation responses,” she said.

Somaroo said while cases have increased, the country has not yet officially entered a fifth wave.

“The official definition of the next wave is dependent on the previous wave, which peaked at a high level of cases, so the threshold to declare the fifth wave is high.

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“At this point in time, the country might cross the threshold for a fifth wave and there is a possibility that the case numbers might also peak soon,” she said.

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