1749 new Covid-19 cases detected in SA, Newsline

Durban – The National Health Ministry has confirmed that South Africa’s cumulative Covid-19 count stands at 677 833 with 1749 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

On Friday, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, announced that 1749 more deaths had been reported.

“Regrettably, we report 43 more Covid-19 related deaths: three from Eastern Cape, eight from KwaZulu-Natal, eight from Gauteng, eight from Western Cape, seven from the Northern Cape and nine from the Free State. This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 16 909,” he said.

“Our recoveries now stand at 611 044 which translates to a recovery rate of 90% and the cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 4 229 709 with 20 660 new tests conducted since the last report,” Mkhize added.

According to the Covid-19 weekly surveillance report, compiled by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, these has been a decrease in private consultations

“Numbers of respiratory hospitalisations continue to decline. The proportion of respiratory or Covid-19 hospitalisations in all ages is decreasing but remains at the very high level among individuals aged ≥20 years. The percentage of general practitioner and emergency department visits coded as respiratory is also declining. Differences by province and age group should be interpreted with caution due to low numbers in some groups,” the NICD said.

Other key highlights from the NICD weekly reports:

Testing Summary

This report summarises national laboratory testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, in South Africa. This report is based on data collected up to 26 September 2020:

  • To date 3,607,151 laboratory tests for SARS-CoV-2 have been conducted nationally.
  • Northern Cape (307 per 100,000 persons) and Free State (241 per 100,000 persons) provinces had the highest testing rates in week 39, however testing rates continued to decrease in all provinces.
  • Percentage testing positive has been decreasing weekly since the peak of 31.4% in week 29. In week 39 the percentage testing positive was 11.2%, relatively unchanged from the previous two weeks. Percentages testing positive were ≥20% in Northern Cape and Free State, between 10-19% in North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, and <10% in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

Weekly Epidemiology Brief

This report summarises data from national laboratory-based surveillance that is used to monitor the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa. This report is based on data collected up to 26 September 2020:

  • To date, 670 766 laboratory–confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 16 398 deaths have been reported in South Africa.
  • From 20 September through 26 September, there were 8 038 new cases of Covid-19 detected, representing a 29% decrease compared to new cases detected the previous week.
  • Gauteng Province continued to carry the highest burden of Covid-19 cases in South Africa, accounting for 33% of all the cases reported to date. However, in week 39 Free State Province reported the highest number of new cases (1 655/8 038, 20.6%), replacing Gauteng Province (1 448/8 038, 18.0%), followed by Northern Cape Province (898/8 038, 11.2%).
  • In week 39, all provinces reported a decline in weekly incidence risk, compared to week 38, which varied in magnitude by province, reduction ranged from 50 cases per 100 000 persons (41% reduction) in Northern Cape Province to 1 case per 100 000 persons (9% reduction) in Limpopo Province.

Weekly Respiratory Pathogens

  • The 2020 influenza season has not yet started. Only one detection of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 has been made in week 24 (week starting 8 June 2020), since the localised outbreak of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and to a lesser extent influenza B(Victoria) in the Western Cape Province, in the first three months of the year.
  • Although the 2020 respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season has not started, there has been a moderate increase in detection since week 29 (week ending 19 July) in the pneumonia surveillance programme and to a lesser extent in the ILI programme.
  • Since the last report, 5 additional patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 of which 3 were detected in the current reporting week (week 39) in severe acute respiratory illness (SARI), influenza-like illness (ILI) and Viral Watch. To date, 581 cases have been detected from all surveillance programmes, including 51 deaths in SARI, case fatality ratio 12% (51/421).

All reports can be viewed on the NICD website.