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Covid-19 positivity rate hits 22%

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South Africa’s Covid-19 test positivity rate hit 22% on Sunday.

This comes after the South African Medical Research Council last week said the incidence of Covid-19 particles in wastewater was increasing in three provinces.

Daily official updates released by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Sunday showed 3,838 infections were detected in the past 24 hours – lower than the figures reported last week. This was out of 17,473 tests carried out.

There were no deaths recorded, but 44 people were admitted to hospital.

Most of the new cases were reported in Gauteng (46%) and KwaZulu-Natal (29%). The Western Cape accounted for 11%, the Free State 4%, the Eastern Cape 3%, Mpumalanga and the North West 2% each, and Limpopo and the Northern Cape 1% each.

The NICD announced that the proportion of positive new cases, now at 22%, is higher than yesterday (21.5%), with the seven-day average positivity rate now sitting at 20.4%.

Because many Covid-19 infections are going undiagnosed, the positivity rate is seen as an indication of how fast it’s spreading. The rate is a measure of the level of testing relative to the size of the outbreak. Because limited testing makes it likely that many cases will be missed, the positivity rate can show where and how fast the virus is spreading.

In November, SA announced the discovery of the Omicron variant and was the first country to experience an Omicron-driven wave of infections.

While scientists have predicted the start of the next wave sometime this month, the government is hopeful that vaccine coverage will ease the impact.

Source: TimesLIVE

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