Cape Town – South Africa recorded 9 320 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, and 114 deaths were reported by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service.
Gauteng recorded 5 902 of the new cases while the Western Cape accounted for 987 cases.
North West recorded 515 new cases, followed by Free State with 418, KwaZulu-Natal with 372, Mpumalanga with 339, 274 in the Northern Cape, 260 in Eastern Cape, and 253 in Limpopo.
“The majority of new cases today are from the Gauteng province [with] 63%, followed by the Western Cape [with] 11% and North West [with] 6% provinces,” said the NICD.
The new cases represented a 16.6% positivity testing rate, the Department of Health said.
“This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 1 739 425; 12 148 854 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors,” the department said.
Hospital admissions increased by 435, the department said, adding that 62 in-hospital deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours.
On Friday, health expert Professor Salim Abdool Karim said South Africa should expect the numbers to go even higher in coming weeks after the NICD confirmed that the country had technically entered the third wave.
After the seven-day moving average of cases exceeding the threshold set by the Health Department, the NICD said the positivity rate was more than three times what is considered acceptable.
On Saturday the positivity rate was at 16.6%.
Speaking to the SABC on Friday, Karim said the real current rate of infections was probably twice what was being reported and that the latest data was actually a reflection of what happened well over a week ago.
“We have known that for the last three weeks, when we breached the threshold. Once we breached the threshold it is very difficult to slow the virus down,” Karim told the national broadcaster.
“It is going to increase and we know this from our first and second waves that the virus will grow in one or two provinces initially from then it cedes to other provinces. So we should be expecting that in the next two weeks cases would rapidly rise.”