Rustenburg: New Covid-19 infection cases in South Africa jumped to over 800 on Tuesday, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said.
“Today (Tuesday) the institute reports 868 new Covid-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 948 760. This increase represents a 2.1 percent positivity rate. As per the national department of health, a further 51 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 89 635 to date,” the institute said.
According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases the increase in cumulative cases was attributed to the retrospective addition of 18 586 antigen tests, that include the reporting of 868 positive cases recorded in the past 24 hours.
The national Department of Health said it has added the rapid antigen tests on the line of Covid-19 statistics, with effect from Tuesday.
“Testing for Sars-Co-V-2 in South Africa is based on the gold standard of a laboratory confirmed PCR test. Initially all Covid-19 positive cases were diagnosed through this method. In October 2020 rapid antigen tests were approved by Sahpra for use and have been increasingly used by healt care professionals to diagnose COVID-19,” spokesperson Foster Mohale said in a statement.
“These rapid antigen tests have been offered across the country in both the private and public sector and through the mobile laboratories of the NHLS across the country. These tests provide easier access to testing and provide results within 15 -20 minutes of testing. Multiple manufacturers are now producing these tests and use them for testing in line with Sahpra’s approval.”
Mohale said as of November 8 they have identified approximately 75 000 antigen tests that need to be captured into the database, of these tests about 20 813 were diagnosed as positive for Sars-CoV-2.
“There have been extensive engagements with the national incident management team, the provinces, the NHLS and the NICD, and we have included these data on 22 November, so that it would reflect on today’s (Tuesday) report.
“As we report test data and case numbers for the past 24 hours through our outbreak reporting system, we will observe an increase in a single day, which will create a distortion of the seven-day moving average and an unusual spike on the reporting epidemic curve.”