Covid-19 update: 801 new cases reported in SA

South Africa has registered a total of 3,685,120 cases of Covid-19, with 801 new cases in the past 24 hours.

This increase represents a 5.5 positivity rate, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has announced.

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (32%), followed by Western Cape (20%). Kwa-Zulu Natal accounted for 15%; Northwest accounted for 11%; Mpumalanga accounted for 8%; Eastern Cape accounted for 6%; Free State and Limpopo each accounted for 3% respectively; Northern Cape accounted for 1% of new cases today.

“Due to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of reported COVID-19 deaths. Today, the NDoH reports 62 deaths, of which 6 have occurred in the past 24-48 hours. This brings the total number of fatalities to date to 99,609,” the NICD said.

23,259,839 tests were conducted in both the public and private sectors.

There is an increase of 28 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

Health experts call for dropping Covid-19 restrictions

The National Health Department said it will submit recommendations this week on how to move forward with Covid-19 regulation to the National Coronavirus Command Council.

The department said this is due to the low infection rate, low death rate, high recovery rate and reduced pressure from health care workers who sacrificed their lives during the peak of the pandemic.

“The current situation allows for relaxed restrictions or regulations as part of the government’s efforts to open up the economy. However, this does not replace vaccination as we are still living with this deadly pandemic,” said spokesman Foster Mohale.

“We are urging people to mass vaccinate to boost their immunity against the Covid-19 virus, including for the country to achieve population immunity,” he added.

Department’s position follows epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist Professor Salim Abdol Karim said South Africa is poised to do away with public health measures such as sanitizing and wearing masks outdoors.

During an interview with eNCA on Friday, Karim said: “We have reached a stage where we can change most of our public health measures at this point.

“We can get away from all the sanitizing and drop our outdoor mask mandate.”

Additional reporting by Narissa Subramoney

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