COVID-19 cases on a decline in SA

South Africa has experienced a 20% reduction in new COVID-19 cases in the last week, from 16 000 a week to 12 800 a week.

Gauteng is still the leading province with 38.4% of new cases followed by the Western Cape at 20% and KwaZulu-Natal at 15.5%.

According to the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, in the past week all provinces have reported a decline in weekly incidence risk except for KwaZulu-Natal which showed no change.

“The percentage testing positive in the last week was highest in Mpumalanga at 14% followed by Western Cape at 12.6%, North West at 10.5% while all other provinces had a below 10% positivity rate. The percentage positive was higher in the 10-14 years of age at 21%,” the Minister said.

He said the dominant variant in South Africa remains Omicron although with a sub variant called BA.2 accounting for 78% of the infections in January and February.

Currently, there are 25 758 active cases which is an increase of 1.3% over the last 24 hours.

In terms of districts, an increase has been recorded in Overberg, City of Cape Town, Frances Baard and West Coast, with 12 out of 52 districts recording increases compared to 14 days earlier.

The Minister said admissions in hospitals as of yesterday stood at 2 602 which is an 8% decline over 24 hours.

“Over the last seven days there has been an 11% decline in hospitalisations, and 72% of admissions are unvaccinated, while 83% of the admissions are in general wards, 7.4% in high care and 9.6% in ICU,” he said.

Minister Phaahla said deaths in hospitals have also reduced by 28% in the last seven days.

The total fatalities now stand at just under 99 500 with recovery rate of 96.6%.

“The major disappointment is that the rate of infections has not declined steadily as we had anticipated as we can see the recurring spikes in several districts leading to a plateau of the curve instead of flattening similar to what we reported a month ago.

“As a result the positivity rate has lingered between 7-10% over the last four weeks with 7% yesterday. We hope to see a more sustained decline which will result in less than 5% positivity. [This] will qualify us to say the pandemic is under control,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

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