Covid-19 update: South Africa reports 4,631 new cases

South Africa has reported 4,631 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 3,755,459. This reflects 17.8% positive results.

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

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

Today, the majority of new cases are in Gauteng (51%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (22%). The Western Cape accounted for 13%; The Eastern Cape was 5% and the Free State was 3%. Mpumalanga and North West accounted for 2% each, respectively; Limpopo and the Northern Cape each accounted for 1% of today’s new cases, respectively.

“Due to ongoing checks by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog in reporting COVID-19 deaths,” the NICD said in a statement.

The country has recorded 10 deaths, 1 of which occurred in the last 24-48 hours. This brings the total death toll to 100,286.

24,288,173 tests were conducted in both the public and private sectors.

Over the past 24 hours, the number of hospitalizations has increased by 70.

“There is evidence of an increase in hospitalizations and deaths from Covid-19,” said Dr Vaasila Yassat, Head of Surveillance at the DATCOV Covid-19 National Hospital in the Public Health Surveillance and Response Unit.

British Covid-19 patient tested positive for record 505 days – researchers

British researchers believe they have documented the longest known Covid-19 infection in a patient who tested positive a total of 505 days before his death.

The previous record for persistent infection, rather than repeated bouts of Covid-19, is 335 days, said a team from King’s College London and the Guy’s and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust.

One of the co-authors of the study, consultant virologist Gaia Nebbia, said an unnamed person was diagnosed with respiratory symptoms in mid-2020 and later improved.

But then they tested positive about 45 times before ending up in the hospital until they died.

Nebbia said persistent infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, has been described in patients with compromised immune systems.

She and her team studied how the virus from nine Covid-19 patients in London changed over time and concluded that new variants could be emerging in immunocompromised patients.

“This is one of the hypotheses for the emergence of variants,” Nebbia told AFP.

“Regular sampling and genetic analysis of the virus showed that five out of nine patients developed at least one mutation seen in the variants of concern.

“Some people have developed multiple mutations associated with variants of concern, such as alpha, delta and omicron variants.

“However, no one in our work has developed new options that have become widespread options of concern.”

Of nine immunocompromised patients who tested positive for at least eight weeks, infections persisted for an average of 73 days.

But two patients had persistent infections for more than a year.

All patients had weakened immune systems due to organ transplants, HIV, cancer, or other medical treatments. They were studied between March 2020 and December last year.

Of the nine, five survived. Two of the five recovered without treatment, while two others recovered after treatment with antibodies and antiviral therapy.

The fifth person was still infected at the last follow-up in early 2022, even after treatment, and had COVID-19 for 412 days.

If they test positive on their next appointment, they will break the 505-day record, the researchers said.

Nebbia said the situation has demonstrated the urgent need for new therapies to help immunocompromised patients recover.

The results will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Lisbon starting on Saturday.

Additional AFP reporting