COVID-19 latest cases deaths

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COVID-19: South Africa adds more than 16 000 cases, 516 deaths

Dr Michelle Groome of the NICD said trends in the coming weeks will be important in confirming whether SA has reached the peak of the third COVID-19 wave or not.

COVID-19 latest cases deaths

Photo: Adobe Stock

South Africa recorded just more than 16 000 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, 21 July, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD). The new cases detected over the last 24-hour period represent a test positivity rate of 27.5%.


The NICD said the 16 240 new COVID-19 cases identified on Wednesday brings the total number of active cases in the country to 160 462. Unfortunately, 516  more people succumbed to the disease, bringing South Africa’s death toll since the onset of the pandemic to 68 192.

The testing results on Wednesday are markedly different from the previous day. On Tuesday, the NICD reported 8 929 new COVID-19 cases and conducted just 40 173 tests (this increased to 59 068 on Wednesday) at a positivity rate of 22.2%.

Dr Michelle Groome, the Centre Head for the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response at the NICD, acknowledged the dip and said testing rates have decreased in the past two weeks.

“…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 Groome.

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

Hospital admissions have remained consistent on Tuesday 808 people were admitted for COVID-19 treatment while 831 were admitted within the last 24 hours, according to the NICD on Tuesday. There are currently 17 286 patients admitted to hospitals for the disease across the country.


Most of the new COVID-19 cases identified on Wednesday were in Gauteng (32%) followed by the Western Cape (21%) and KwaZulu-Natal (11%). Limpopo and the North West each accounted for 9% while the other provinces – Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape – accounted for the remaining 18 percent.

The list below shows the new COVID-19 cases identified by province:

  • Eastern Cape – 872 cases;
  • Free State – 545 cases;
  • Gauteng –  5219 cases;
  • KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) – 1803 cases;
  • Limpopo – 1388 cases;
  • Mpumalanga – 1128 cases;
  • North West – 1477 cases;
  • Northern Cape – 337 cases;;
  • Western Cape – 3471 cases; and
  • Unallocated –  0 cases: