Unrest could have affected Covid-19 testing, warns NICD

Unrest could have affected Covid-19 testing, warns NICD

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says a slight drop in the number of new Covid-19 cases may be due to people not being able to access testing facilities.

A medical worker prepares Covid-19 coronavirus swab test for international passengers arriving for the “Phuket Sandbox” tourism scheme that allows vaccinated visitors at Phuket International Airport in Phuket on July 1, 2021.

Violence and looting in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have made parts of the two provinces inaccessible.

South Africa has recorded 16 435 new Covid-19 cases over the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s total infections to 2 253 240.

The institute says the latest increase represents a 29.9% positivity rate.

“Although the number of positive cases appears to be decreasing, testing is critical for understanding the spread of COVID-19 infection. It's crucial to remember that the testing data is representative of those who came forward for testing, not necessarily a reflection of current community transmission in South Africa. Testing data is used to identify cases and follow up of contacts to limit transmission. This data is also used to predict, plan and deploy resources for risk mitigation," the NICD said.

"Understanding that services have been adversely affected and services may be temporarily closed we encourage all our communities to seek medical help if they have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, lethargy, a dry cough, or trouble breathing. Individuals who are unable to access testing facilities and believe they have been infected or have had direct contact with someone who has been confirmed positive should call the COVID -19 hotline on 0800 029 999, stay at home, quarantine for 10 days, and minimise contact with others."

A further 377 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 65 972.

Gauteng has recorded 7 309 new Covid-19 cases and accounts for 44% of the country’s cases.

The 7-day moving average daily number of cases has decreased.

The institute says another 726 people were admitted to the hospital in the past 24 hours.

Currently, there are 17 404 people admitted in both public and private hospitals.

On the vaccine front, 172 466 vaccines were administered on Thursday.

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