South Africa has identified 1,954 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has announced.
This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3.764,865. This increase represents a 19.3% positivity rate.
The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (55%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (23%). Western Cape accounted for 11%; Free State accounted for 3%; Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 2% respectively; and Limpopo and Northern Cape each accounted for 1% respectively of today’s new cases.
24.342,803 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.
“Due to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of Covid-19 mortality cases reported,” said the NICD.
The country has reported 30 deaths and of these, 2 occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours. This brings the total fatalities to 100,333 to date.
Beijing Covid-19 spike prompts mass testing, panic buying
Fears of a hard Covid-19 lockdown sparked panic buying in Beijing on Monday, as long queues for compulsory mass testing formed in a large central district of the Chinese capital.
China is already trying to contain a wave of infections in its biggest city Shanghai, which has been almost entirely locked down for weeks and reported 51 new Covid-19 deaths on Monday.
Shanghai has struggled to provide fresh food to those confined at home, while patients have reported trouble accessing non-Covid medical care — and the rising cases in the capital triggered fears of a similar lockdown.
Downtown Beijing’s most populous district Chaoyang, home to around 3.5 million people, ordered mass testing from Monday for residents and those coming to work there. The area hosts embassies and the headquarters of many multinational firms.
Queues snaked around malls and outside office complexes as people waited to be swabbed by health workers in protective gear.
“If a single case is found, this area could be affected,” said office worker Yao Leiming, 25, as he headed for a testing site in Chaoyang with a group of colleagues.
The mass testing order, and warnings of a “grim” Covid-19 situation in the city, sparked a run on Beijing’s supermarkets overnight as residents rushed to stockpile essentials.
Many items on grocery delivery apps sold out on Sunday night after the testing order was announced, but stocks were replenished Monday.
Additional reporting by AFP