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By Citizen Reporter


1 266 new Covid cases reported in SA, still no need to panic

Following the news of the discovery of a new Covid variant, the country has reported a recent four-figure uptick in detected cases.

The Department of Health announced that as of 19 January 2023, the cumulative number of Covid 19 cases identified in South Africa stood at a figure of 4 051 787 with 1 296 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

There have also been 20 new deaths reported, bringing the total to 102 588 deaths.

The department said that the cumulative number of recoveries now stands at 3 943 529 with a recovery rate of 97,3%.

Meanwhile, countries abroad are starting to put safety measures in place amidst covid outbreaks – although the symptoms of the new XBB.1.5 variant are said to be not as distressing as those experienced by other variants.  

Department of health
A infographic from the department of health on the covid stats | Image: Dept of Health Twitter.


Medical experts say that the symptoms associated with the new variant still include fever, sore throat,  muscle aches, exhaustion, nausea, cough and sinus congestion.

The experts also confirmed that the loss of taste and smell is not prevalent under the new strain.  

ALSO READ: XBB.1.5 variant may not result in a large wave of Covid-19 infections’ – Health Department

The variant is said to be affecting a number of children globally, however, experts have assured that this is not because children were more susceptible to the strain. The explanation for this phenomenon has been attributed to the fact that they were less likely to be vaccinated and were exposed to more crowds of people in schools and other public areas.

China  – on the other hand – has been celebrating with large crowds and family gatherings after its government lifted the zero-Covid policy that imposed lockdown restrictions.

The zero-Covid approach was said to have battered the economy and made citizens weary of restrictions and repeated tests.


Protests were carried out in November against Chinese president President Xi Jinping. A few weeks later, China abandoned the key parts of the zero-Covid strategy.

The country earlier this week rang in the Lunar New Year, which is the most important annual holiday in China.

NOW READ: No need to panic – XBB.1.5 not a more dangerous Covid sub-variant

With the easing of most Covid-19 restrictions, many people could finally make their first trip back to their hometowns to reunite with their families.

Chinese authorities did however report thought that lockdowns would continue but should only apply to more targeted areas like individual buildings, units or floors as opposed to whole neighbourhoods or cities being shut down.

The country also reopened its borders after almost three years.

*Compiled by Devina Haripersad

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