South Africa records nearly 15,000 new COVID-19 cases

The NICD says South Africa has recorded close to 15,000 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24-hour cycle.

FILE: Two patients with COVID-19, one (L) breathing in oxygen, in the COVID-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, about 35km from the centre of Cape Town, on 29 December 2020. Picture: RODGER BOSCH/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says South Africa has recorded close to 15,000 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24-hour cycle.

In the latest statistics, the NICD said this brought the total number of confirmed cases to over 3.4 million.

This increase represented a 25.7% positivity rate.

The Western Cape is at the forefront of the growing number of cases, with 322,120 of infections recorded there followed by KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

A further 30 COVID-19 related deaths were reported bringing the total fatalities to 90,773.

The NICD said over 21 million tests had been conducted in both public and private sectors.

There was also an increase of 80 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is the latest government official to test positive for COVID-19.

VACCINES SAFE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department said vaccines were safe for pregnant women and urged them to also vaccine against COVID-19.

KwaZulu-Natal has been one of the provinces battling to get people to vaccinate.

Vaccination sites have been closed in eThekwini this Christmas weekend due to low turnout, but the city said those who wanted the jab could still get it.

MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu briefed the media after welcoming 45 babies born on Christmas Day.