Maverick Citizen

COVID-19

More than 10,000 new cases registered in South Africa on Wednesday

(Photo: NIAID-RML CC BY 2.0)

South Africa recorded more than 10,000 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, with one in four tests being positive, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said in its daily update.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) registered 10,017 new coronavirus infections in South Africa on Wednesday, spokesperson Sinenhlanhla Jimoh said.  

She said the increase in case numbers represented a 25.3% positivity rate. 

The National Department of Health on Wednesday reported 50 more deaths due to Covid-related complications, of which 10 deaths had occurred in the previous 24 to 48 hours. 

Jimoh said most new cases found on Wednesday were from Gauteng (39%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (21%). 

Dr Waasila Jassat’s unit in the NICD, which monitors hospital admissions and hospital deaths due to Covid-19 complications, also released its latest report on Wednesday. 

According to this report, there was a 5% decrease in the number of new admissions in the past week compared with the previous week. Gauteng had the highest number of admissions in the past week followed by KwaZulu-Natal. 

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The report said there had been an increase in the average daily Covid-19 admissions, comparing the previous 14 days and the current 14 days in all the provinces; and a small increase in deaths for the same period in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and Northern Cape.   

Meanwhile, a study conducted by Dr Geetesh Solanki and colleagues at the South African Medical Research Council’s Health Systems Research Unit was published in the PLOS One journal, aimed at quantifying the cost of treating Covid-19 complications in a large South African private health-insured population. 

According to the paper, researchers used demographic data for 188,292 members of Discovery medical schemes who tested positive for Covid-19 between 1 March 2020 and 28 February 2021, coupled with hospital data for these members up to 30 June 2021.  

Researchers found that individuals older than 65, with three or more comorbidities, and men (in general) had the highest hospitalisation and mortality risks and the longest and costliest hospital stays. It was found that hospitalisation and mortality risks were higher in the second wave than in the first.  

Diabetics were at the highest risk, and this increased if they also had high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease.

The overall mortality risk for patients with Covid-19 was 3.3%. The study found that patients spent about six days in hospital and longer if they were older. In general, the overall median hospitalisation cost per Covid-19 positive case was R49,836, with this amount varying between R28,464 and R107,020. 

Solanki said the paper was the first to present Covid-19 outcomes among a private health-insured population in Africa and would contribute to addressing the gap in the knowledge base on the actual observed Covid-19 risks and subsequent hospitalisation using real-world data.  

He concluded that this would enable targeted patient management strategies and risk stratification, identification of opportunities for provider quality and efficiency improvements and would also generate information to assess the cost and cost-effectiveness of preventative and treatment interventions for patients with Covid-19. DM/MC

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