More than 10,000 cases of Covid-19 have been identified in South Africa in the last 24 hours, the highest number since January.
National Institute of Infectious DiseasesNICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, announced on Wednesday that 10,017 new cases had been identified in the country.
The country first reported more than 10,000 daily cases in 2022 on January 5, when 11,106 cases of Covid-19 were reported.
This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,862,165. This increase represents a positive outcome rate of 25.3%.
Today, the majority of new cases are in Gauteng (39%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (21%). The Western Cape accounted for 17%; The Eastern Cape and the Free State each accounted for 6% respectively; Mpumalanga and North West accounted for 3% each, respectively; Northern Cape was 2%; and Limpopo accounts for 1% of today’s new cases.
The country also recorded 50 deaths, of which 10 deaths occurred in the last 24-48 hours. To date, the total number of deaths from Covid-19 is 100,609.
24,765,642 tests were carried out in both the public and private sectors.
Over the past 24 hours, the number of hospitalizations has increased by 164.
France to lift mask rule on public transport due to Covid-19 on May 16
The health minister said on Wednesday that face masks would no longer be needed on trains, planes and the metro in France from May 16, lifting one of the last remaining sanitary measures introduced since the pandemic began in 2020.
“From Monday, May 16, masks will no longer be mandatory for all public transport,” Olivier Véran said after the weekly cabinet meeting.
“Wearing a mask is still recommended,” he added, but that rule is “no longer appropriate” given the recent sharp decline in Covid-19 cases.
France began easing its strict mask-wearing rules in February after a winter spike in cases, but they were still required in the workplace or schools for several weeks until the number of infections dropped.
Masks, as well as a medical passport confirming a Covid-19 vaccination or shot, are still required to enter hospitals, and people who test positive must continue to self-isolate for at least seven days.
There were 56,449 new cases in the previous 24 hours, mostly the Omicron variant, despite a concerted vaccination campaign that saw 79.3 percent of the population receive all required doses in the previous 24 hours, according to the health ministry.
In March, authorities began offering a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine to people aged 80 and over, and Veran said a new booster campaign for the general population may be needed in the fall, depending on new options.
Since the outbreak began, France has recorded just under 147,000 Covid-19 deaths.
Additional AFP reporting