Picture: 123RF
Picture: 123RF

More than 2,400 new Covid-19 cases have been identified in SA, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported on Thursday evening.

The NICD said a total of 2,465 new Covid-19 were recorded in SA, with the majority in Gauteng. This increase represented a 6.5% positivity rate. 

A total of 114 Covid-19 deaths were recorded.

According to the statistics, 1,950 cases were recorded in Gauteng in the past 24 hours. On Wednesday, there were 1,018.

Gauteng has consistently been the worst-hit province for new infections over the past two weeks. This as the NICD confirmed on Thursday that a new Covid-19 variant known as B.1.1.529 had been detected in SA.

Twenty-two positive cases of the variant have been recorded in the country after genomic sequencing collaborations between the NICD and private laboratories. Other laboratories are confirming more cases as sequencing results come out.

“It is not surprising that a new variant has been detected in SA,” said NICD acting executive director Prof Adrian Puren. “Though the data is limited, our experts are working overtime with all the established surveillance systems to understand the new variant and what the potential implications could be. Developments are occurring at a rapid pace and the public has our assurance that we will keep them up to date.”

The NICD said in a statement: “Detected cases and percentages of those testing positive are both increasing quickly, particularly in Gauteng, North West and Limpopo.”

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