As of Thursday, South Africa has recorded a total of 3.093,452 positive cases of Covid-19, with 22,391 new cases identified in the past 24 hours.
This increase represents a 29.8% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (53%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (12%). Western Cape accounted for 10%; North West accounted for 6%; Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga each accounted for 5% respectively; Eastern Cape accounted for 4%; and Northern Cape accounted for 1% of today’s new cases.
As per the National Department of Health, a further 22 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 90,060 to date, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has announced.
19.988,045 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.
There has been an increase of 453 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.
Early data indicates the Omicron Covid variant may more easily reinfect people who have already had the virus or been vaccinated than previous variants, but could also cause milder disease, the WHO said Wednesday.
“Emerging data from South Africa suggests increased risk of reinfection with Omicron,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters, adding that “there is also some evidence that Omicron causes milder disease than Delta”.
But he stressed that more data was needed before drawing firm conclusions, and urged countries everywhere to boost their surveillance to help provide a clearer picture of how Omicron is behaving.
The hopeful assessments came as global concern grew over the heavily mutated variant, which has forced dozens of nations to re-impose border restrictions and raised the possibility of a return to economically punishing lockdowns.
Even if it does turn out that Omicron causes less severe disease, Tedros warned against slacking off vigilance against the virus.
Additional reporting by AFP