South Africa
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Covid-19 update: SA records 4,373 new cases and 21 deaths

South Africa has, in the past 24 hours, identified 4,373 positive cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases to 2.968,052.

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (72%), followed by Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, each accounting for 6%. Limpopo and North West accounted for 5% respectively; Mpumalanga 3%, Free State 2% and Eastern Cape 1%. Northern Cape accounted for less than 1% of today’s new cases.

This increase represents a 10.2% positivity rate, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has announced.

As per the National Department of Health, a further 21 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 89,843 to date.

19.477,054 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.

There has been an increase of 119 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

Dutch say Omicron variant was already circulating

Dutch health authorities said Tuesday that the Omicron variant was present in the Netherlands earlier than previously thought, before South Africa had first reported the new strain of Covid-19.

The variant was found in two test samples from November 19 and 23, with one having no travel history, suggesting that the variant is already circulating in the Netherlands, the RIVM public health institute said.

The first Omicron cases in the Netherlands were previously believed to have been the cluster of 14 among passengers on two flights from South Africa that arrived on Amsterdam on Friday.

READ MORE: Dutch found Omicron variant a week before South Africa flight cases

The Netherlands now joins other European countries including Belgium and Germany that have reported cases of the new strain before it was officially notified by South Africa to the World Health Organization on November 24.

“We found two additional cases of Omicron variant which have been sampled on the 19th and 23rd of November,” RIVM infectious diseases chief Aura Timen told AFP.

“So that points at the presence already of this variant in the Netherlands.”

Additional reporting by AFP