The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Senior Researcher, Dr Ridhwaan Suliman, said COVID-19 infections are again on the rise in South Africa, with the country entering another wave.
However, according to Suliman, this was expected.
“Promisingly, COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths remain fairly flat,” he said on Twitter.
South Africa recorded a 16.9% increase in the number of new cases detected in week 45 of 2022, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Thursday, November 17.
The latest data show that the country now has 4 034 234 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, 2 938 of which were logged since the last report.
The report is based on data collected up to 12 November 2022.
“The new cases are now defined as cases detected in the past epidemiologic week, based on the date of sample collection or sample receipt,” the NICD explained.
According to the NICD, KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest weekly incidence risk, followed by Gauteng and the Western Cape.
“The other provinces reported weekly incidence below 4.0 cases per 100 000 persons,” the public health institute said.
In addition, in the past week, seven out of the nine provinces reported a surge in weekly incidence risk.
Data show that the increases range from 0.1 cases per 100 000 people (6.6%) in Free State, to 3.4 cases per 100 000 people (64.4%) in KwaZulu-Natal.
According to the statistics, the highest weekly incidence risk is among cases detected in patients aged 80 and above, while the lowest was in the five to nine-year-old age group.
According to the NICD, in week 45, the percentage-testing positive was 12.8%, which increased significantly from the previous week.
“In week 45, compared to the previous week, the percentage testing positive increased significantly in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and Mpumalanga. The percentage-testing positive did not change in all other provinces.”
However, in the same week, there was a 40% decrease in the number of new hospital admissions compared to the previous week.
KwaZulu-Natal had the highest number of admissions in the past week (97 admissions out of 286 cases, or 33.9%), followed by Gauteng (82 admissions out of 286 cases, or 28.7%) and Western Cape (51 admissions out of 286 cases, or 17.8%). North West had the lowest number of admissions (five admissions out of 286 cases, or 1.7%).