Covid-19: Health department reiterates call for vaccination

As of Thursday, May 19, 29 199 tests were conducted in the previous 24 hours, with 7 238 new cases, representing a 24.8% positivity rate. Total fatalities to date are 100 898.

As Covid-19 cases in South Africa are once again on an upward trend, the Department of Health has reiterated calls for vaccination.

As of Thursday night, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, recorded 7 238 new cases and 12 deaths in the previous 24 hours.

Gauteng accounts for the highest rate of new cases, with 2 428, and the Western Cape follows with 1 649 new cases.

Overall active cases across the country are 80 791.

Reiterating its call for more citizens to get vaccinated, the Department of Health reported that 56 743 people have been vaccinated in the last 24 hours.

This brings the total number of vaccinated South Africans to 35 679 922.

Current cases have largely been driven by offspring of the Omicron variant – the BA.4 and BA.5 – and has seen a small increase in hospitalisations.

Health experts have said that, owing to high levels of population immunity, it is possible to experience resurgences in the virus without overwhelming the health system.

Case numbers suggest a high level of virus transmission, but the most recent data also suggests the rate of increase of new cases is beginning to slow.

Moving forward, it is expected that Covid cases will rise and fall, but peaks and troughs will become less dramatic than previously seen.

Covid-19 statistics as at 19:00, May 19. Image: NICD

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