File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases in SA declining

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jul 20, 2021

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Cape Town – A total of 8 929 new Covid-19 cases were identified in South Africa on Tuesday, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 311 232.

This increase represents a 22.2% positivity rate, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said in a statement.

The Department of Health said a further 596 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total fatalities to 67 676.

“Testing rates have decreased in the past two weeks and while this may be reflective of a decreased need for testing due to decreased infections, access to testing has been limited in certain areas due to the social unrest,” said Dr Michelle Groome, centre head for the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response at the NICD.

“Thus, trends in the coming week will be important in confirming whether the peak of third wave has indeed been reached or not.”

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (37%), followed by the Western Cape (19%), while KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 11%; the North West for 8%; the Eastern Cape for 7%; Mpumalanga and Limpopo each accounted for 6%; the Free State for 4%; and the Northern Cape for 2%.

The total number of cases today (8 929) is higher than yesterday’s (7 209), but lower than the average number of new cases per day over the seven preceding days (13 131). The seven-day moving average of the daily number of cases has decreased.

Dr Harry Moultrie, senior medical epidemiologist for Public Health Surveillance and Geospatial Modelling at the NICD, says the national seven-day moving average of Covid cases has declined since July 6 largely because of the decline in Gauteng.

“The percentage testing positive, however, increased in Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Western Cape in week 28, compared to previous weeks.

’’While the percentage testing positive has decreased in Gauteng, Limpopo and North West, the percentage testing positive remained very high (35%) in these provinces,” he concluded.

A total of 14 310 166 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.

Meanwhile, Muslims celebrating Eid-ul-Adha this week have been urged to follow Covid-19 safety guidelines after a recently published study revealed an increase in Covid-related deaths among Muslim communities during previous Eid celebrations.

A shipment of vaccines, part of 80 million doses donated globally by the US, arrived in Ethiopia as several African countries grapple with a third wave of Covid-19 infections.

Canada said it would allow fully vaccinated US tourists into the country starting from August 9 after the Covid-19 pandemic forced an unprecedented 16-month ban that many businesses complained was crippling them.

India’s excess deaths during the Covid-19 pandemic could be as high as 4.9 million, according to a new study that provides further evidence that millions more may have died from coronavirus than the official tally.

The report by the Washington-based Center for Global Development, co-authored by India's former chief economic adviser, Arvind Subramanian, included deaths from all causes since the pandemic's start through June 2021.

India has officially reported more than 414 000 deaths due to Covid-19, the third highest tally in the world after the United States and Brazil, but the study adds to growing calls from experts for a rigorous nationwide fatality audit.


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