Gauteng records an uptick in Covid-19 infections

Johannesburg- The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has noted an increase in the seven-day moving average in new Covid-19 cases in Gauteng.

According to the NICD, the peak has been detected in Tshwane among those who are aged between 10 and 29 over the past week.

Also, the NICD said it has recently identified cluster infections amongst the 20 to 44 age group at the Tshwane University of Technology.

According to the latest data, the country recorded 312 new Covid-19 infections on Monday, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 930 174.

The highest number of additional infections were reported in Gauteng after 239 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus, followed by 16 cases in the Western Cape, 15 in KwaZulu-Natal and 10 in Mpumalanga, while the rest of the provinces logged less than 10 cases each.

“This increase represents a 2.3% positivity rate,” the institute added.

Citing the Department of Health’s statistics, the NICD said 10 more people lost their lives to the disease, pushing the death toll to 89 584.

In addition,  there were 37 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

“We are monitoring these trends to see if these increases persist,” said the NICD Acting Executive Director, Professor Adrian Puren.

He continued: “Localised increases in case numbers or clusters are not unexpected, however, it is hard to say whether the increases indicate the start of a widespread resurgence”.

Previously, the public health institute said the waves have been driven largely by the emergence of new Coronavirus variants, Beta in the second wave and Delta in the third wave.

“Genomic sequencing in South Africa has, to date, not yet detected the emergence of any new variants which are making up an increasing proportion of the sequences,” Puren added.

Regardless of potential new variants in the future, the NICD stressed the importance of non-pharmaceutical interventions that remain unchanged.

Puren is encouraging citizens to wear masks, practice hand hygiene, maintain social distancing and gather in well-ventilated spaces.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health said there are now 24 754 316 administered total vaccine doses, of which 110 064 were given in the past 24 hours.

In addition, there are now 13 949 705 or 34.8% adults who are fully vaccinated.

At present, there are 41% of adults in South Africa have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, with 35% fully vaccinated.

“It is difficult to predict the magnitude and timing of a potential Covid-19 resurgence, however, we implore the unvaccinated to get the Covid-19 vaccine, especially the elderly and those with comorbidities,” the NICD’s, Dr Michelle Groome said.

She emphasised the importance of vaccination and that prior infection provide good protection against developing severe disease.

In addition, while there might be an increase in future case numbers, the NICD said the number of hospitalisations and deaths are expected to be less severe in comparison to previous resurgences.

“As the endemic endures, I would like to reassure the public that the NICD continues to acutely monitor trends in case numbers, positivity rates and hospitalisations,” Puren said.

– SAnews.gov.za

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