Photo: Stock/ Canva
Photo: Stock/ Canva
South Africa recorded 16 080 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has said on Saturday.
This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 292 609.
This increase of 16 080 new COVID-19 cases represents a 28.8 % positivity rate.
A further 48 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 90 345 to date.
“The cumulative number of recoveries is 2 992 289.”
The majority of new cases are in KwaZulu-Natal with 4 202 new cases, Gauteng with 3 430, the Western Cape with 2 959 new cases, and the Eastern Cape with 1 566 new cases in the provinces.
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20 640 434 tests have been conducted in both the public and private sectors.
There has been an increase of 215 hospital admissions in the past 24hours.
The government has taken a bold step on Thursday, confirming that there will be ZERO new lockdown restrictions at this moment in time to combat the spread of the Omicron variant. A family meeting on the matter has also been scrapped, and the country will remain at its current alert phase of Level 1.
This latest announcement matches a rather bullish tone coming from both the Cabinet, and the medical experts of Mzansi. There’s growing confidence that Omicron, although it spreads like butter on a hot slice of toast, isn’t putting much of a dent into hospitalisations and deaths. And that’s the game, at this stage of the pandemic.
The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) met on Wednesday to consider the need for changes to our current Level 1 laws. Although cases continue to rise alongside new hospital admissions, data on ICU treatment and mortality remains flat. Therefore, there’s no need to push the panic button as it stands.
“This virus is spreading quicker than in previous waves, but the rates of hospitalisations and deaths remain relatively low.it is in our hands to maintain the current break in the clouds into the lasting sunshine in order to have safer and joyous Christmas, and prosperous New Year celebrations.”
On Friday, the World Health organisation’s Technical Advisory Group on all things COVID-19 met. They met for the sole purpose of assessing the B.1.1.529 variant.
By the end of that meeting, the WHO had named the variant the omicron variant. This follows the Delta and Beta variants that were also given Greek names.
The first case of the Omicron variant was from a COVID test that was collected on the 9th of November. South African scientists identified the new variant and first reported the matter to the WHO on the 24th of November.
But what makes Omicron different from other variants? Well, it has a large number of mutations. In fact, a lot more than any of the previous variants seen before.