4406 new cases were registered in South Africa, 49% of them in Gauteng.

In South Africa, 4406 new cases of Covid-19 infection have been identified, 49% of which are registered in Gauteng, 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 3,750,830. This increase reflects a 15.8% increase in the positivity rate.

Today, the majority of new cases are in Gauteng (49%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (22%). The Western Cape accounted for 15% and the Eastern Cape for 5%. The Free State, Mpumalanga, and Northwest accounted for 2% each, respectively; Limpopo and the Northern Cape each accounted for 1% of today’s new cases, respectively.

“The public should exercise caution in interpreting these data as there may be changes in testing patterns. early warning indicator, sewage detection monitoringshows an increase in Gauteng,” said NICD executive director Professor Adrian Puren.

He said there is currently no evidence that the Omicron variant of concern is being phased out as the dominant circulating variant.

The country also reported 65 deaths, 5 of which occurred in the last 24 to 48 hours. This brings the total death toll to 100,276.

24,262,108 tests were carried out in both the public and private sectors.

Over the past 24 hours, the number of hospitalizations has increased by 66.

“There is evidence of a slight increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations in Gauteng, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, but we are not seeing an increase in Covid-19 deaths in hospitals,” said Dr. Waasila Jassat, DATCOV Covid- 19 National Hospital Surveillance. in the department of sanitary supervision and response.

US government appeals appeals court decision to overturn Covid-19 mask mandate

The Justice Department said on Wednesday that the United States government is filing an appeal against a court decision that sparked controversy to lift the federal mandate to wear masks on public transportation earlier this week.

After the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country’s top health authority, assessed that masks remain “necessary to protect public health,” the Department filed a notice of appeal,” spokesman Anthony Coley said.

A U.S. federal judge on Monday overturned the mandate to use Covid-19 masks, saying it exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority.

Last week, politicians in Washington decided to extend it until May 3.

Although the public has a “strong interest” in fighting the spread of Covid, the mask mandate “exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority” and it “failed to adequately explain its decisions,” U.S. District Judge Katherine Kimball Mizell of the Middle District of Florida said in a statement. stated in her decision.

Several major airlines have subsequently waived mask requirements on domestic flights and some international flights, while taxi services Uber and Lyft, as well as passenger rail Amtrak, have additionally announced the removal of the mandatory use of masks.

Additional AFP reporting