4230 new cases, two deaths reported in last 24 hours

As of Saturday, April 23, the total number of detected cases of Covid-19 in South Africa is 3,759,689, with 4,230 new cases, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD) confirmed.

This corresponds to 16.8% of positive results.

Two COVID-19 linked deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of deaths to 100,298.

it was 25 hospitalizations in the last 24 hours.

The total number of recovered people is 3,632,572. South Africa currently has 26,819 active cases.

A total of 24,313,334 tests have been conducted to date in both the public and private sectors.

Provincial breakdown

Today, the majority of new cases are in Gauteng (48%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (22%).

The Western Cape accounted for 16%; The Eastern Cape accounted for 4% and the Free State for 3% of new cases.

Mpumalanga and the North West account for 2% each, while Limpopo and the Northern Cape each account for 1% of today’s new cases, respectively.

ALSO READ: Another alcohol ban? Covid-19 rules could give government power to re-impose restrictions

International news Covid-19

Chinese censors remove viral video of Shanghai quarantine from online platforms

On Saturday, Chinese internet censors removed a viral video showing the impact of the prolonged coronavirus lockdown on Shanghai residents, sparking a backlash online.

Some 25 million Shanghai residents have been locked down in their homes since early April as authorities rush to curb the worst outbreak since the pandemic began.

The city is scrambling to provide fresh vegetables and other essentials to those in lockdown, while patients report problems accessing regular healthcare as thousands of healthcare workers have been dispatched to test and treat covid.

These concerns were reflected in a six-minute video titled “Voice of April” that was widely shared on Weibo and WeChat, China’s main social networks.

Shot against a simple black-and-white aerial view of the city, the video begins with audio clips from media briefings in March, when officials say there will be no city-wide lockdown in Shanghai.

By April, that decision was quickly reversed as the high-transmission variant of Omicron led to a spike in infections.

As the camera pans through the deserted streets of Shanghai, audio clips play back in chronological order showing the dire plight of residents forced to return to their homes without preparation.

ALSO READ: Vaccination hesitancy grows stronger among the unvaccinated

“We went to the hospital twice, but there is no one to treat us,” a man whose father is ill can be heard speaking.

In another case, a woman complains about not being allowed to go home when she returned from the hospital after chemotherapy.

There is also a clip of residents yelling “Thank you big whites,” the nickname for medical personnel wearing white PPE deployed in various areas.

On Saturday, internet censors fought for hours to remove videos from Weibo and Wechat as netizens continued to upload it to various cloud services.

The quick censorship of the video, which was posted by an anonymous account, caused a backlash online.

“The video just presented the raw facts. Nothing defiant!” said one commenter on Weibo.

“Its content is nothing new… But the fact that even this is being censored worries me,” wrote another.

The Voice of April is not available on any of China’s major social networks as of Saturday afternoon, but it can still be viewed on Youtube.

Shanghai reported 23,504 new coronavirus cases and 12 deaths on Saturday.

While China’s coronavirus strategy has kept the country relatively free of infections during the first two years of the pandemic, the current wave has seen hundreds of millions of people nationwide placed under some form of lockdown.

Public criticism of the government is extremely rare, but prolonged restrictions are testing the patience of the Chinese, with footage of the protest circulating on social media faster than censors can remove it.

Additional AFP reporting.