The province that recorded the most new Covid-19 cases in the past week is the Western Cape - NICD

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  • South Africa has a cumulative total of 954 258 cases as of Wednesday.
  • All provinces, except the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, are reporting increased cases.
  • The report is based on data collected up to 19 December 2020. 

The Western Cape has recorded the highest proportion of new cases detected in the past week, according to the weekly report from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

The report is based on data collected up to 19 December, termed week 51.

As of 19 December, a total of 921 922 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases had been detected in South Africa. Of these, 60 958 were cases reported since the last report.

The NICD said the Western Cape reported the highest weekly incident risk, 216.9 cases per 100 000 persons, followed by KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Northern Cape, which respectively had 117.1, 104.3, 65.7 and 30.0 cases per 100 000 persons - a trend similar to last week. 

"The increase in the number of cases in the Western Cape in recent weeks was driven by a resurgence in Covid-19 cases reported mostly from the Garden Route. The incidence risk in week 50 (438.9 cases per 100 000 persons) was higher than the peak weekly incidence risk during the first wave (179.9 cases per 100 000 persons) in week 30.

"All the districts in the Western Cape reported weekly incidence risks in week 50 higher than those reported in the first wave peaks," the report reads. 

According to the report's highlights, all provinces also reported an increase in weekly incidence risk, except the Eastern Cape (63.4 cases per 100 000 persons, a 37.8% reduction) and the Western Cape (29.2 cases per 100 000 persons, 11.9% reduction), which reported a decrease in weekly incidence risk, compared to the previous week.

READ | Help us stop the spread of Covid-19, Western Cape govt urges religious leaders

As of Wednesday, South Africa had a cumulative total of 954 258 cases, with 14 046 new cases reported. 

An additional 411 Covid-19 related deaths were reported: 101 in the Eastern Cape, three in the Free State, 34 in Gauteng, 90 in KwaZulu-Natal, six in Mpumalanga, six in North West and 171 in the Western Cape.

The death toll now stands at 25 657 fatalities. 

READ | SA's deadliest Covid-19 hospitals - 7 out of 10 worst performing facilities in the Eastern

The institute said the increase in the number of new cases and weekly incidence risk in KZN in the past two weeks was largely driven by a sharp increase in the number of new cases in six districts - eThekwini, iLembe, Ugu, Harry Gwala, uMgungundlovu and King Cetshwayo.

Three districts - eThekwini, iLembe, and Harry Gwala - reported weekly incidence risks above those reported in the first wave peaks.

Gauteng, on the other hand, had been reporting an increase in incidence risk for over three weeks.

The NICD said, nationally, the weekly incidence risk of cases per 100 000 persons has been increasing gradually in the past five weeks due to an increase in number of new cases reported from Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and, to a lesser extent, Gauteng.

It said:

"However, in the past week, increases in the number of cases have been noted from all provinces, except the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. Travel during the festive season could result in changes in trends reported in different provinces during this period. Interprovincial travel at the current time, where increases in cases are observed in several provinces, could potentially increase the spread of Covid-19."

The report also noted it was important for people to maintain the prevention of spread measures during the festive season, including limiting the number and size of social gatherings, meeting others outdoors or in well-ventilated spaces, consistent and correct use of masks, proper hand hygiene and physical distancing. 

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