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The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has on Wednesday reported 9 020 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 433 554.
This increase represents a 26% positivity rate.
As per the National Department of Health, a further 81 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 90 935 to date.
About 21 141 715 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.
The majority of new cases today are from KwaZulu-Natal (28%), followed by Western Cape (21%).
Gauteng accounted for 21%; Eastern Cape accounted for 15%; Free State accounted for 5%; Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West each accounted for 3% respectively; and Northern Cape each accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.
The NICD, a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, continues to provide laboratory-based surveillance to inform the public health response towards COVID-19 in South Africa.
‘Coronavirus unlikely to completely go away’
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is unlikely to completely go away – but that the acute phase of the pandemic – which is categorised by deaths and severe illness – can be beaten by the end of 2022.
WHO’s Director of Emergencies, Mike Ryan says science has provided the tools to end the global pandemic and create safe communities again. Ryan says COVID-19 can get to a stage where smaller outbreaks are manageable.
Addressing the weekly COVID-19 press briefing in Geneva, the WHO says it’s disappointing that politics and populism got in the way of achieving the 40-percent COVID-19 vaccination coverage globally by the end of the year.
Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus did not mince his words as he summarised the last two years of the coronavirus pandemic. He blamed the failure to reach the target on what he called ‘vaccine apartheid’ which saw low-income nations being denied vaccines for several months.
Ghebreyesus says the acute phase of the pandemic can only end if 70 percent of the global population is vaccinated by July next year.