A total of 17 493 new Covid-19 cases were identified in South Africa on Wednesday, compared to 11 093 yesterday.
This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 1 861 065, which represents a 24.9% positivity rate, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said. The majority of new cases are from Gauteng (62%), followed by the Western Cape (10%).
Dr. Michelle Groome, head of the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response, warned that “the sharp rise in the reported daily Covid-19 cases is cause for concern, especially in the Gauteng province, where daily case numbers are exceeding those seen during the previous two waves.
“Ultimately, it is up to each one of us to play our role to reduce the spread of the virus by limiting our interaction with others, as much as possible, during this time.”
A further 166 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported (297 yesterday), bringing the total fatalities to 59 258.
Professor Adrian Puren, acting executive director of the NICD, stressed that the anecdotes from family and friends are real.
“It is critical to manage our risks and the risk to others, especially the elderly by limiting contact with others and avoiding gatherings with those who are not part of our safe bubble,” Puren said.
A total of 12 703 421 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors. An increase of 622 hospital admissions has been reported in the past 24 hours.
“We are quite advanced with those over the age of 60,” he said, “though we still urge people who have grannies and uncles who are over the age of 60 who are not yet registered to please assist them to get registered.”
“We want to move to the next cohort which will be over 50 and then over 40.’’
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the department is chasing a tight deadline to conclude the vaccination of teachers by July 8.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday from the Rabasotho community centre in Thembisa, Motshekga said the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) jab would help speed up the inoculation process for the department, as it only requires a single administration, unlike the Pfizer vaccine which needs two doses.
“We’re the ones who put the timelines to say we need two weeks because we don’t want to disrupt schooling and, when we close on the 8th, we want to be done, so that when we come back in the next term we’re done with vaccinations.
Gauteng clinicians are growing concerned about the worsening threat of a health crisis in the province as the closure of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital drags on.
It has been more than two months since a fire gutted 40% of the hospital’s intensive care beds and destroyed R40m worth of medical consumables.
The fire, which ripped through Africa’s second biggest hospital on April 16, has left Gauteng 1 068 hospital beds short in the midst of the third wave of Covid-19 infections.