Covid-19 update: 2,647 new cases reported in SA

South Africa has identified 2,647 new cases of Covid-19, 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 3.960,424. This increase represents a 11.3% positivity rate.

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (34%), followed by Western Cape (23%). Kwa-Zulu Natal accounted for 12%; Eastern Cape accounted for 10%; Free State accounted for 6%; Mpumalanga, North West and Northern Cape each accounted for 4% respectively; and Limpopo accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.

The country also reported 29 deaths and of these 6 deaths occurred in the past 24 to 48 hours. The cumulative COVID-19 deaths are 100,219 to date.

There has been an increase of 86 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

N. Korea Covid-19 outbreak likely ‘getting worse’

The World Health Organization lamented Wednesday that it had no access to data about North Korea’s Covid-19 outbreak, but assumed the crisis was deepening, contrary to Pyongyang’s reports of “progress”.

North Korea, which announced its first ever coronavirus cases on May 12, said last week its Covid-19 outbreak had been brought under control, with state media reporting falling caseloads.

But WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan questioned that claim.

“We assume that situation is getting worse not better,” he told reporters, acknowledging though that the secretive totalitarian state had provided only very limited information.

“Right now we are not in a position to make an adequate risk assessment of the situation on the ground,” he said, pointing out that “it is very, very difficult to provide a proper analysis to the world when we don’t have access to the necessary data.”

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s lead on Covid-19, meanwhile said the country had registered around 3.7 million suspected Covid-19 cases, although the official accounts only mention cases of “fever”.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported last Friday that caseloads had fallen for a seventh straight day, with just over 100,000 new “fever” cases in 24 hours, down from a high of 390,000 daily cases earlier in May.

KCNA also reported one more death Friday — taking the official toll to 69 — and claimed the fatality rate remains at 0.002 percent.

“There are many recoveries that have been reported, but there’s limited information that we have from the country currently,” Van Kerkhove said.

Additional reporting by AFP