SA hasn't entered third wave yet but rise in COVID-19 cases a concern - NICD

Data from the past seven days had shown an overall 46% increase in new COVID-19 cases in comparison to the previous week, with the Northern Cape, Gauteng and Limpopo provinces topping the list.

Patients are seen lying on hospital beds inside a temporary ward dedicated to the treatment of possible COVID-19 coronavirus patients at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria on 11 January 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said that South Africa had not entered a third wave of COVID-19 infections.

The institute, however, said that the rapid increase in the percentage of South Africans testing positive for COVID-19 was a cause for concern.

According to the latest statistics from the Health Department, over 2,700 COVID-19 cases were recorded in the country in the past 24-hour cycle and 72 people had succumbed to the virus.

Data from the past seven days had shown an overall 46% increase in new COVID-19 cases in comparison to the previous week, with the Northern Cape, Gauteng and Limpopo provinces topping the list.

The NICD said while there had been an increase in hospital admissions, COVID-19 related deaths increased by 18% in comparison to the past seven days, with the Eastern Cape and Western Cape accounting for the majority of the fatalities.

The NICD's Professor Adrian Puren said that despite the increases in infections, the country had not yet entered a third wave.

"While we have not yet crossed the national threshold for a third wave yet, the current trajectory is very concerning," Puren said.

According to a Ministerial Advisory Committee technical working group, a resurgence occurs when the seven-day moving average incidence exceeds 30% of the previous wave's peak.

At provincial level, the Free State province is currently experiencing a third wave, while five other provinces were showing sustained increases.

WATCH: Mkhize: COVID-19 positive cases increasing, SA may find itself in the third wave

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.