Durban – KwaZulu-Natal has experienced a decline in the number of new Covid-19 cases in the past three weeks.
Speaking during a media briefing on Sunday, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said although KZN remains the second highest province in SA in terms of laboratory-confirmed cases, there has been a noted decline in the number of new cases.
He said the actual number of Covid-19 cases for week 39 was 980, while for week 40, KZN had 875 new cases and 193 less cases by week 41.
“We are indeed pleased to report that the province is observing a steady decline in incidence risk,” he said.
Zikalala said the number of new cases had declined by 11% and then a further 22%.
“This also coincides with the weekly cumulative incidence risk. For week 39, the incidence risk was nine cases per 100 000; during week 40 it was eight cases per 100 000; and during week 41 it was six cases per 100 000,” he said.
The premier further noted the number of new deaths had declined by 42% for week 39-40.
He said a further 30% decline was observed between week 40-41. The analysis was done using the date of death of the deceased, not the date of reporting. The case fatality rate remains at 2%, and the mortality rate is 27 deaths per 100 000 population.
However, Zikalala said the number of deaths reported in the past few days has been higher in KZN compared to other provinces.
“This should be interpreted with caution: the province is cleaning up its data, and following up with facilities in order to ensure that all Covid-19 related deaths are reported. In the process, more deaths that occurred earlier in the pandemic (April, May and June) are being discovered and reported. We expect that the number of deaths will eventually decline, along with a decline in the number of positive cases,” he said.
Zikalala said KZN has been observed a consistent percentage of people testing positive in the past three weeks.
He said in the past week, KZN was the second highest province to conduct tests countrywide after Gauteng meaning that the positivity rate remained lower as compared to other provinces.
Meanwhile, 7 730 healthcare workers contracted Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and more than 70% have since recovered.
He said the majority of infected healthcare workers were nurses and lay counsellors.
The premier said by October 10, 477 patients had been admitted to hospital. He said overall, KZN’s recovery rate translated to 93%.
Harry Gwala District is still experiencing challenges due to an influx of cases from the Eastern Cape, which has been affecting their recovery rate and incidence risk.