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COVID-19 cases continue to rise

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says COVID-19 has been increasing steadily in the past seven days.

The Institute says it observed an increase in newly reported COVID-19 cases and the percentage of those who tested positive, especially in Tshwane, among those between ages 10 and 29 over the past weeks.

According to the NICD, a cluster of cases has recently been identified at a university in Tshwane among students aged 20–44.

“We are monitoring these trends to determine if they persist,” said NICD Acting Executive Director, Proffessor, Adrian Puren.

According to Professor Puren, it is difficult to tell if localised increases in clusters are the beginning of a widespread resurgence of the epidemic.

According to Professor Puren, the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants, Beta in the second wave and Delta in the third wave, was responsible for a significant amount of the transmission.

In South Africa, DNA testing has not yet detected any new variants that make up an increasing number of sequences, said Puren.

Prof. Puren says there are inherent delays with molecular sequencing because of the transport of samples and the time it takes to process them.

Puren said that regardless of potential new interventions in the future, the essence of non-pharmaceutical interventions remains unchanged.

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