Covid-19 update: South Africa reports 2,809 new cases and 5 deaths

South Africa has 2,809 new cases of Covid-19, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (USA).NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, announced.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,957,777. This increase represents a positive outcome rate of 12.6%.

Today, the majority of new cases are in Gauteng (29%), followed by the Western Cape (25%). Kwa-Zulu-Natal accounted for 18%; The Eastern Cape was 11%; The Free State accounted for 5%; Mpumalanga and North West accounted for 4% each, respectively; Northern Cape was 3%; and Limpopo accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.

The country also reported 28 deaths, five of which occurred in the last 24 to 48 hours. To date, the total number of deaths from Covid-19 is 100,190.

Over the past 24 hours, the number of hospitalizations has increased by 103.

25,264,922 tests were carried out in both the public and private sectors.

Shanghai prepares to lift more Covid-19 restrictions after extended lockdown

Shanghai authorities said on Tuesday they would lift further restrictions to bring the Covid-hit city back to normal after two months of tight restrictions that have strangled businesses and locked down residents.

The commercial hub of 25 million has been closed piecemeal since late March, when the spread of the Omicron variant caused the worst outbreak in China since the virus first emerged in the country in late 2019.

China is pursuing a zero-coronavirus strategy consisting of hard lockdowns, mass testing, and long quarantine periods to wipe out clusters.

But after gradually relaxing some rules over recent weeks, officials said on Tuesday that residents living in low-risk areas would be allowed to roam freely in the city, a major step towards lifting restrictions.

The easing of restrictions will affect about 22 million people, Deputy Mayor Zong Ming told reporters.

“From June 1, the city will enter the third stage, that is, the stage of complete restoration of the normal production and living order of the city,” Zong said.

She added that shopping malls, convenience stores, pharmacies and beauty salons will remain open at 75 percent, while parks and other scenic spots will gradually reopen.

But cinemas and gyms remain closed, and schools, closed since mid-March, will slowly reopen on a voluntary basis.

E-commerce specialist Chen Ying said she still plans to work from home, but she can take her two-year-old son for a long-awaited outdoor outing.

“We should have been free from the start, so don’t expect me to be deeply grateful now that they gave it back to us,” she told AFP.

Additional AFP reporting