Hospitalisations down but slight uptick in new cases

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) shared the latest Covid-19 update, which brings the total number of confirmed cases in South Africa to 3,722,954.

The 7-day average is 5.8% (compared to 5.8% on Saturday).

Covid-19 in South Africa

New cases and deaths

As per the NICD, 889 new Covid-19 cases have been identified in South Africa. This increase represents a 5.3% positivity rate (5.4% on Saturday.)

The cumulative number of detected Covid-19 now stands at 3,722,954. Meanwhile, the National Department of Health (NDoH) reported four deaths, bringing the total to 100,050.

However, only one death occurred in the past 24 to 48 hours; the department is still clearing the Covid-19 mortality cases backlog.

While hospitalisation rates are low, Senior Researcher at CSIR, Ridhwaan Suliman, notes a “slight uptick in case numbers and test positivity rates”.

Hospital admissions and recoveries

There has been an increase of 4 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours, while the total number of recoveries now stands at 3,611,123.

This shows a recovery rate of 97%. South Africa currently has 11,781 active cases – 961 less than Saturday’s 12,742.

In total, 23,909,698 tests have been conducted. As of 5pm on 2 April, 33,818,517 vaccine doses had been administered.

Provincial breakdown

The majority of the new Covid-19 cases came from Gauteng (42%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (25%) and Western Cape (19%).

Eastern Cape accounted for 5%, followed by Free State with 4% of all cases, while Mpumalanga accounted for 3%.

The North West province accounted for 2%, while Limpopo accounted for 1%. The Northern Cape’s percentage dropped to <1%.

Global developments

China reports 13,000 Covid cases

China reported 13,000 Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the most since the peak of the first pandemic wave over two years ago, as health officials said they have found a suspected new subtype of the Omicron variant in the Shanghai area.

China’s “zero-Covid” strategy is under extreme pressure as the virus whips across the country.

Until March, China had successfully kept the daily caseload down to double or triple digits with hard, localised lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions.

Canada’s sixth Covid-19 wave

Canada is heading towards a potential sixth Covid-19 wave as an increase in hospitalisations has started to sweep across the country once against.

Even though daily case averages remain low, experts warn of regional variability across the country with several jurisdictions reporting increases.

Dr Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer said the latest provincial data shows a resurgence of cases in Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of British Columbia.

‘Hybrid immunity’ best Covid protection

People with the “hybrid immunity” of having been both fully vaccinated and previously infected with Covid-19 have the strongest protection against the virus, two new studies said on Friday.

After two years of a pandemic that has seen nearly 500 million people infected and billions vaccinated, the studies highlighted the importance of getting jabbed for those who have natural immunity after recovering from the disease.

One of the two studies published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal analysed the health data of more than 200,000 people in 2020 and 2021 in hard-hit Brazil, which has the world’s second-largest Covid death toll.

Global reporting by AFP.