Covid-19 update: South Africa reports 6,527 new cases

South Africa has reported 6,527 new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, announced.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,791,925. This increase represents a positive outcome rate of 21.5%.

Today, the majority of new cases are in Gauteng (32.8%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (17.9%). The Western Cape accounted for 17.5%; The Free State accounted for 5.4%; The Eastern Cape accounted for 9.2%, Mpumalanga and the North West for 5.1% each, respectively; Limpopo accounted for 4.1% and the Northern Cape 2.9%, respectively, of today’s new cases.

The country also reported four deaths in the past 24 to 48 hours. This brings the total death toll to date to 100,363.

24,475,485 tests were carried out in both the public and private sectors.

ALSO READ: South Africa has 38,797 active cases of Covid-19.

Over the past 24 hours, the number of hospitalizations has increased by 54.

Beijing tightens Covid restrictions as long holidays begin

On Saturday, officials said restaurants across Beijing would temporarily ban dining in them and residents would need clear Covid tests to visit public places due to a major increase in virus controls at the start of the Labor Day holiday.

The five-day break is typically one of China’s busiest travel periods, but the country’s worst coronavirus resurgence since the start of the pandemic is expected to force people to stay at home.

Faced with a highly transmissible Omicron variant, Chinese officials have doubled down on their zero-covid policy, quelling virus clusters through massive trials and lockdowns.

Despite rising economic costs and public discontent, the capital has announced further restrictions on access to public spaces during and after the holiday period.

From May 1 to May 4, the city’s eateries will stop eating and only allow delivery, local trade department spokesman Ding Jianhua said at a press briefing on Saturday.

Authorities also said they have so far prepared 4,000 makeshift hospital beds, which are typically used for patients with mild or no Covid symptoms, and are accelerating the establishment of larger quarantine sites.

According to a notice on the city’s official WeChat page, from May 5, a negative Covid test taken last week will also be required to enter “all types of public places and public transportation.”

For events such as sporting events and group travel, participants will also need to present a negative Covid test taken within 48 hours, along with proof of “full vaccination” in accordance with the new rules.

Disappointment in Shanghai

On Saturday, China reported more than 10,700 Covid cases domestically, with the most in Shanghai’s economic engine.

The eastern metropolis was isolated for about a month after it became the epicenter of the latest outbreak.

Cases are down, but frustration and anger are simmering in a city of 25 million, many of whom have been ordered to stay at home for weeks.

Shanghai officials said on Saturday that all of its new cases were found among quarantined or restricted groups, suggesting that the spread of the infection in the population could be slowing down.

They added that hundreds of whitelisted companies have reopened and about 1,000 firms have also received permission to reopen, state media reported.

The number of cases has risen to 54 in Beijing, according to the National Health Commission.

As the long holiday break began, consumers in the capital were asked to present negative Covid tests within 48 hours to enter public places such as malls, shops and scenic spots.

Authorities said the city would make Covid testing free for residents from Tuesday.

Additional AFP reporting