Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
22 Dec 2021
7:46 pm

Covid-19 update: SA records 21,099 new cases and 99 deaths

Citizen Reporter

The NICD says early data suggests that the threat of severe illness and hospitalisation in people infected with the Omicron variant is much lower compared to those infected with the Delta variant.

Covid-19 vaccinations. Picture: AFP/Kena Betancur

As of Wednesday, South Africa has recorded a total of 3.353,106 positive cases of Covid-19, with 21,099 new cases identified in the past 24 hours.

This increase represents a 30.6% positivity rate. 

The majority of new cases today are from KwaZulu-Natal (26%), followed by Western Cape (22%). Gauteng accounted for 18% and Eastern Cape 11%. Free State and North West each accounted for 6% and Mpumalanga 5%.  Limpopo accounted for 4% and Northern Cape accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.

As per the National Department of Health, a further 99 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 90,587 to date.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, continues to provide laboratory-based surveillance to inform the public health response towards COVID-19 in South Africa.

20.844,222 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors

There has been an increase of 593 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

NICD confirms Omicron infections are less severe than Delta variant

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says early data suggests that the threat of severe illness and hospitalisation in people infected with the Omicron variant is much lower compared to those infected with the Delta variant.

The NICD on Wednesday briefed the media on the latest Covid-19 developments as the country battles the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, which is driven by the Omicron variant.

Since Omicron was first detected in South Africa last month, the NICD has been monitoring developments around the variant that is believed to be more transmissible than the Delta variant.

Professor Cheryl Cohen from the NICD said they compared the severity of infections from Omicron to the Delta variant and made some positive findings.

“Early data suggests that Omicron infections are less severe than Delta infections in South Africa. The reduced severity could be in part as the result of high population immunity (herd immunity) due to previous infection and/or vaccination.

“It could also reflect that the virus itself is less likely to cause severe illness,” Cohen said.

Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe