SA records over 3,000 new COVID cases as third wave looms

The Department of Health said 3,221 cases were confirmed, taking the known caseload to 1 605 252.

FILE: Sadly, 44 more people have also died in the country after contracting the virus, with the death toll now at 55,012. Picture: 123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - For the first time in several weeks, South Africa has recorded over 3,000 new coronavirus infections over a 24-hour period.

The Department of Health said 3,221 cases were confirmed, taking the known caseload to 1 605 252.

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

Sadly, 44 more people have also died in the country after contracting the virus, with the death toll now at 55,012.

The recovery rate has dropped to 94.7%, with 1 520 878 people recuperating so far.

On the vaccine front, 455,169 healthcare workers have now received their jab.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has warned that while South Africa has not yet crossed the national threshold for a new wave, should people continue on the current trajectory, the country is likely to enter a third wave in the coming weeks.

The NICD said if members of the public rapidly implemented meticulous social distancing and adhered to non-pharmaceutical measures, the third wave would be slowed down.

The NICD's professor Adrian Puren said: “Wearing masks and keeping social distancing… the transmission will decline, and the third wave will be delayed.”

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

It said with the vaccination of the elderly expected to begin next week, delaying the third wave would provide more time to vaccinate those most at risk for severe diseases and would save lives.

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