South Africa enters third wave of COVID-19

By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – South Africa “technically” entered its third wave of COVID-19 infections Thursday after recording 9,149 new cases in a 24-hour period, according to figures released by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

The NICD said that for the past seven days, the average number of cases recorded was over 5,000, which exceeds the new wave threshold as defined by the Ministerial Advisory Committee.

“There was an increase of 844 admissions in the past 24 hours and 127 additional in-hospital deaths reported in the past 24 hours,” said the NICD, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service.

The statement said the new infections represent a 15.7% positivity testing rate, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed nationwide cases to 1,722,086.

Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, is the largest contributor of new cases, accounting for 61% of infections, according to the NICD.

The tourism hub of Western Cape is the second most affected province, contributing 10% of cases nationwide, while the Free State and North West provinces accounted for 6%.

South Africa, which has the highest COVID-19 case burden on the continent, has so far tested 12,044,072 people in both public and private sectors.