Gauteng recorded 11,160 new Covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours, as it continued to be the country's coronavirus epicentre.

There were 19,506 new infections recorded across SA in the past 24 hours, as well as 383 deaths, according to the latest statistics from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD). The new cases came at a positivity rate of 27.6%.

Apart from Gauteng’s spike in new cases, there were other concerns as the Western Cape recorded 2,059 cases in the past 24 hours. In addition, three provinces recorded more than 1,000 cases: the North West reported 1,428, KwaZulu-Natal 1,265 and Limpopo 1,234.

The NICD said that there were 698 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours, meaning that 12,893 people are being treated in the country’s hospitals.

Also on Wednesday, the SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) released its report on weekly deaths, covering the period of June 20-26.

The report shows that there was a sharp increase in natural deaths in Gauteng in the past few weeks, with more than 2,242 excess deaths from natural causes recorded in the week under review — figures that were comparable to the number experienced at the height of the first and second waves of the pandemic.

Across SA, there were 3,907 excess deaths recorded.

“Since May 3 2020, there has been a cumulative total of 176,700 excess deaths from natural causes of people 1+ years of age, of [which] nearly 94,000 occurred in 2021 (since January 3 2021)," the SAMRC said.