975 positive cases reported in SA in past 24 hours

As of Saturday, 11 June 2022 the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases in South Africa is 3,977,628 with 975 new cases identified in the past 24 hours.

This represents a 7.5% positivity rate, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed.

The total tests conducted to date stands at 25,480,679, with 13,008 tests having been done in the past 24 hours.

Provincial breakdown

Gauteng currently has the highest positive rate of Covid-19 infections, with 290 people having tested positive in the past 24 hours. The Western Cape is not far behind with 253 positive cases.

KwaZulu-Natal only reported 122 Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours.

The Northern Cape reported the lowest rate of Covid-19 infections with only 31 people having tested positive in the past 24 hours. Mpumalanga only reported 34 positive cases, Free State 49, Limpopo 51, North West 54, Eastern Cape 91.

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International update

US to drop Covid tests for incoming air travel

The United States announced Friday that Covid-19 tests would no longer be required for international travelers arriving by air, a major step in the country’s gradual lifting of pandemic restrictions.

White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz confirmed the news on Twitter, with US media saying the measure would end this weekend after strong lobbying from the travel industry.

All passengers had needed to show a negative Covid viral test taken shortly before travel – or proof of having recovered from the virus in the past 90 days – before boarding a flight.

Munoz said President Joe Biden’s work on vaccines and treatments had been “critical” to easing the travel restrictions, and added that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would continue to evaluate Covid data amid a recent rise in cases.

Last month, the United States crossed the threshold of one million Covid deaths, with Biden acknowledging the “unrelenting” pain of bereaved families, and urging Americans to remain vigilant.

America recorded its first Covid death in early February 2020 on the West Coast.

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Welcome move

“We believe we have made the progress that we need to make in having protocols in place around Covid that we can lift this requirement,” presidential economics advisor Brian Deese told CNBC.

“I think that will be good news for business travel, good news for American commerce and companies as well.”

Many mask mandates across the United States have been lifted, but the country has recently seen an uptick in the number of daily virus cases, largely due to new Omicron subvariants.

About 300 people die every day in the country from Covid, down from the latest surge in February, when the daily average jumped to 2,700.

Vaccines have been free and widely available, but take-up rates vary widely between states.

Nationwide, 66.7% of the population is fully vaccinated, rising to 91.2% in those aged 65 and over.

With the US economy hit by rocketing inflation, the travel sector welcomed the move.

“The airline industry appreciates the administration’s decision to lift the pre-departure testing requirement in accordance with the current epidemiological environment,” the Airlines 4 America industry federation said in a statement.

“Lifting this policy will help encourage and restore air travel to the United States… We are eager to welcome the millions of travelers who are ready to come to the US for vacation, business and reunions with loved ones.”

*Additional reporting by AFP