KZN unrest deals major blow to Covid testing figures
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DURBAN - LAST week’s social unrest has had significant decrease in the numbers of people testing for Covid-19 in KwaZulu-Natal.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported that the social unrest might have resulted in higher contact rates and thus the transmission of Sars-CoV-2.
"The significant decrease in testing volumes in KwaZulu-Natal in particular as a result of the social unrest makes it difficult to assess the current epidemic trajectory in KZN," the NICD's Dr Harry Moultrie said.
He said the average number of cases had declined since July 6, due to the decline of numbers in Gauteng.
Moultrie said the percentage testing positive, however, increased in the Eastern Cape, the Free State, KZN, Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and the Western Cape in week 28 compared to previous weeks.
"While the percentage testing positive has decreased in Gauteng, Limpopo and North West, the percentage testing positive remained very high in these provinces," he said.
The NICD's Dr Michelle Groome said testing rates had decreased in the past two weeks, and while that might be reflective of a decreased need for testing due to decreased infections, access to testing had been limited in certain areas due to the social unrest.
"Thus, trends in the coming week will be important in confirming whether the peak of third wave has indeed been reached or not. Gauteng has certainly passed the peak of the third wave and there are early indications that Limpopo, Mpumalanga, the North West and Western Cape have peaked or are approaching peak incidence," she said.
KZN has more than 15 000 active cases with a total death toll of 11 128.