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Covid-19 update: 2,334 new cases reported in SA

South Africa has identified 2,334 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of lab-confirmed cases to 3,662,032.

This increase represents a 7.3% positivity rate, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD)a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has announced.

Most new cases today come from Gauteng (39%), followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal and Western Cape, each representing 15% respectively. Northwest accounted for 8%; Mpumalanga accounted for 7%; Eastern Cape and Free State each accounted for 5% respectively. Limpopo accounted for 3% and Northern Cape accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.

“Due to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of reported COVID-19 deaths. Today the NDoH reports 64 deaths and of these, 1 occurred in the last 24-48 hours. This brings the total number of fatalities to date to 98,868,” the NICD said in a statement.

22,928,257 tests were conducted in both the public and private sectors.

There has been an increase of 73 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

Omicron variant no more serious than original strain – WHO

The BA.2 variant of the Omicron Covid-19 strain is no more serious than the original, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

Based on a sample of people from different countries, “we see no difference in severity of BA.1 compared to BA.2,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, a senior WHO official, in an online question and answer session.

“So this is a similar level of severity when it comes to the risk of hospitalization. And this is really important, because they’ve had significant circulation in many countries, both of BA.1 and BA.2,” she said.

Van Kerkhove, who leads the technical side of the WHO’s Covid-19 response team, reported the findings of a committee of experts monitoring the evolution of the virus.

Their conclusions will come as a relief to countries like Denmark, where the BA.2 variant of Omicron is widespread.

Additional reporting by AFP

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