Visitors queue for vaccines at a mass Covid-19 vaccination site in Johannesburg. Picture: WALDO SWIEGERS/BLOOMBERG
Visitors queue for vaccines at a mass Covid-19 vaccination site in Johannesburg. Picture: WALDO SWIEGERS/BLOOMBERG

SA’s recorded daily coronavirus cases almost halved amid a fourth wave of infections fuelled by the Omicron variant.

The country registered 8,515 new infections in the past 24 hours, data from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases showed on Monday. That’s a 44% drop from a day earlier and the lowest number of daily infections since December 6.

However, the cases were recorded with 29.9% of Covid-19 tests analysed coming back positive, about in line with the 30.7% figure from a day earlier, the institute said. That suggests the number of tests has influenced the plunging case numbers rather than any improvement in the pandemic.

The NICD said 28,520 tests were conducted during the period, compared with 50,377 a day earlier.

The biggest share of new cases were recorded in the coastal KwaZulu-Natal province, a popular destination for domestic tourists during the current summer holiday period.

South Africa’s recorded daily coronavirus cases almost halved amid a fourth wave of infections fueled by the omicron variant. Graphic: BLOOMBERG
South Africa’s recorded daily coronavirus cases almost halved amid a fourth wave of infections fueled by the omicron variant. Graphic: BLOOMBERG

The economic hub of Gauteng — where the bulk of holiday makers travel from — is now second on the list. The two provinces make up almost 50% of SAa’s economic output. 

Covid-19 hospital admissions rose to 8,515 from 7,915 a day earlier, the NICD said in a separate report. The number of patients in need of intensive care remained unchanged at 6.7%.

Daily deaths rose to 105, from three in the prior 24-hour period, according to the NICD. That was due to a mass reporting of casualties from the North West province, which hadn’t previously reported a death for almost a month, according to Tom Moultrie, Professor of demography at the University of Cape Town. 

Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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