Rise in reported COVID cases as a result of more testing: NICD

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa (NICD) says the latest trend of increasing coronavirus (COVID-19) infections can be attributed to more testing.

It says the results of the last reporting period represent specimens which were collected between the 23rd and 28th of this month. This was due to testing delays over the Christmas weekend across private and public laboratories.

However, the positivity rate of 33% is slightly higher than the previous two days. Deputy Director of the NICD, Professor Lucille Blumberg says cases may rise further following the festive season.

“I think people let down their guard, people are tired of COVID preventions and there  have been a number of super spreading events big parties, gatherings religious gatherings, family gatherings where large numbers of people come together in relatively confined spaces.

A number of them are infected with COVID-19, some don’t even know because you get people who are asymptomatic that can transmit the virus. So,  its really about not observing the tools that we have to reduce transmission and its really everyone’s responsibility to do so.”

Meanwhile, South Africa has recorded 17 710 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of cases to date to 1 039 161.

The country has also recorded 465 new COVID-19 related fatalities on Wednesday.

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In a statement, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says most of the new deaths were recorded in the Western Cape.

“Regrettably, we report 465 more COVID-19 related deaths: 88 from Eastern Cape, 4 from the Free State, 41 from Gauteng, 144 from KwaZulu-Natal, 16 from Limpopo, 7 from Northern Cape and 165 from the Western Cape,” says Dr Mkhize.

This brings the total number of deaths to 28 033.

Recoveries currently stand at 867 597.

The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 6 553 761.

Source: SABC

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