Third wave of Covid-19 infections showing signs of a downward trend - experts

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  • Experts say Covid-19 infections have been showing signs of a sustained downward trend.
  • The number of new cases and the positivity rate have decreased nationally compared to last week.
  • A further 253 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total confirmed fatalities to 84 152.

Covid-19 infections have been showing signs of a sustained downward trend, health experts said on Wednesday.

According to a statement by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), 7 338 new Covid-19 cases were identified in South Africa on Wednesday, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 836 773.

TAKE A LOOK | News24's Covid-19 dashboard: Track the spread, recovery and mortality statistics here

KwaZulu-Natal registered most new cases at 1 923, followed by the Western Cape with 1 591 and the Eastern Cape with 1 251.

"The majority of new cases today (Wednesday) are from KwaZulu-Natal 26%, followed by Western Cape 22%. Eastern Cape accounted for 17%; Free State accounted for 11%; Gauteng province accounted for 8%; Northern Cape and North West each accounted for 5%; Mpumalanga accounted for 4%; and Limpopo province accounted for 2% of today's new cases," the NICD said in a statement.

READ | Covid-19 vaccines rolled out to 18+ pupils at Mpumalanga schools

"Although the total number of cases today (Wednesday) is higher than yesterday (n= 5 372) and higher than the average number of new cases per day over the previous seven days, the number of new cases and positivity rate have decreased nationally compared to last week," acting NICD executive director Professor Adrian Puren said.

Puren added that while there have been provincial disparities in the timing and extent of the third resurgence, all nine provinces were currently exhibiting a drop in daily new cases.He said:

The provinces of Gauteng and Limpopo have already met the end-of-wave threshold criteria.

A further 253 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported, bringing the total confirmed fatalities to 84 152.Dr Michelle Groome, head of the Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response at the NICD, cautioned that "now is not the time for complacency".

She said wearing masks, hand hygiene and social distancing remain important measures to prevent the spread of the virus."The number of hospitalisations and deaths have also decreased compared to last week. A total of almost 14 million vaccine doses have been administered, with over 10 million people fully vaccinated as of 7 September 2021 in South Africa. High vaccine coverage is essential to limit the impact of the virus on our lives and livelihoods in the coming months.

"We all have a part to play by getting vaccinated and encouraging our family, friends and colleagues to do the same," Groome said.

In the last 24-hour cycle, there were 360 Covid-19 hospital admissions in both the public and private sector.According to the Department of Health, the cumulative number of recoveries is 2 618 386, representing a recovery rate of 92.3%.To date, 14 126 008 vaccine doses have been administered in South Africa.

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