covid-19 latest stats figures south africa omicron

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COVID-19 latest: Cases up by over 13 000 on Tuesday 7 December

With new COVID-19 cases having dropped on Monday, infections over the last 24-hours have once again climbed to 13 147 on Tuesday.

covid-19 latest stats figures south africa omicron

Photo: Stock/Canva

COVID-19 cases in South Africa have risen by 13 147 on Tuesday 7 December, with the latest surge of new infections reported in the past 24-hours coming as the country braces for the arrival of the fourth wave. Despite the concerning number of new cases, the Department of Health reported that 27 people died from COVID-19 related illness since Monday. 

The total number of COVID-19 cases that have been accumulatively reported since March 2020 has risen to 3 051 222. 

A total of 90 002 people have succumbed to the virus since the first death in March 2020. 

A total of 2 864 648 people have recovered having tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March last year, representing a positivity rate of 29.8%.

Provincial COVID-19 case breakdown Tuesday 7 December:

The following confirmed COVID-19 cases have been recorded in each province over the last 24-hours on Tuesday 7 December:

  • Eastern Cape –  390 new cases;
  • Free State –  352 new cases;
  • Gauteng – 8 445 new cases
  • KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) –  1 396 new cases;
  • Limpopo –  406 new cases
  • Mpumalanga –  545 cases;
  • North West –  720 new cases
  • Northern Cape –  88 new cases;
  • Western Cape –  805 cases; and
  • Unallocated –  0 cases, 0 deaths.

What we’ve learnt about the new variant this week:

This week, South African researchers and scientists have revealed some positive findings about the Omicron variant:

  • People who are being admitted to hospital are not as reliant on oxygen, ventilation, or ICU in this wave so far.
  • Omicron has been present in South Africa for about a month, and death rates have remained flat.
  • As virologist Shabir Madhi has explained, it seems a smaller proportion of cases require hospital treatment.
  • Confidence is growing in the protection vaccines offer against Omicron, to prevent severe illness and mortality.
  • The NICD’s Dr. Fareed Abdullah has also claimed that many patients with COVID-19 are only reliant on ‘room air’:

On the other hand, these worrying findings were also revealed this week:

  • Evidence suggests that the Omicron variant is much more transmissible than Delta.
  • Hospital admissions are mounting – despite ‘milder infections’ reported in most patients.
  • Those with immunity to the disease, through vaccines or previous infection, are more vulnerable to ‘reinfection’ with Omicron.
  • Those who are vaccinated may be more likely to catch this form of COVID-19 – but very few vaccinated patients will develop severe symptoms.

“I am optimistic that a smaller proportion of cases will require hospital treatment. However, we are facing a large number of [mild] breakthrough infections in the vaccinated, and more cases of reinfection this time around,” said the NICD’s Dr. Fareed Abdullah.