SA reports over 10,000 new Covid-19 cases

South Africa has identified more than 10,000 cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, the highest number since January.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, announced on Wednesday that the country had identified 10,017 new cases.

The first time the country reported more than 10,000 daily cases in 2022 was on 5 January, with 11,106 Covid-19 cases.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3.862,165. This increase represents a 25.3% positivity rate.

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (39%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (21%). Western Cape accounted for 17%; Eastern Cape and Free State each accounted for 6% respectively; Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 3% respectively; Northern Cape accounted for 2%; and Limpopo accounted for 1% of today’s new cases. 

The country also recorded 50 deaths, and of these, 10 deaths occurred in the past 24 to 48 hours. The cumulative Covid-19 deaths are 100,609 to date.

24.765,642 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors.

There has been an increase of 164 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

France to lift Covid-19 mask rule for public transport May 16

Facemasks will no longer be needed on trains, planes and metros in France starting May 16, the health minister said Wednesday, lifting one of the last remaining sanitary measures imposed since the pandemic began in 2020.

“From Monday, May 16, masks will no longer be mandatory for all public transport,” Olivier Veran said after a weekly cabinet meeting.

“Wearing a mask remains recommended,” he added, but the rule is “no longer appropriate” given the large drop in Covid-19 cases recently.

France began easing its strict face mask rules in February after a winter surge in cases, but for weeks they were still required at the workplace or in schools until infections declined further.

Masks as well as a health pass proving Covid-19 vaccination or inoculation are still required for entering hospitals, and people who test positive must still self-isolate for at least seven days.

On Tuesday, 56,449 new cases were reported over the previous 24 hours, mainly the Omicron variant, despite a concerted vaccination campaign that has seen 79.3 percent of the population receive all required doses, according to health ministry data.

In March authorities began offering a fourth coronavirus vaccine dose to people aged 80 and over, and Veran said a new booster campaign for the general population could be necessary in the autumn depending on which new variants emerge.

France had recorded just under 147,000 Covid-19 deaths since the outbreak emerged.

Additional reporting by AFP