Covid-19 update: 6,527 new cases reported in SA

South Africa has identified 6,527 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has announced.

This brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,791,925. This increase represents a positivity rate of 21.5%.

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (32.8%), followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal (17.9%). Western Cape represented 17.5%; Free State represented 5.4%; Eastern Cape accounted for 9.2%, Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 5.1% respectively; Limpopo accounted for 4.1% and the Northern Cape accounted for 2.9% respectively of today’s new cases.

The country also reported four deaths that occurred in the last 24-48 hours. This brings the total number of fatalities to 100,363 to date.

24,475,485 tests were carried out in both the public and private sectors.

READ ALSO: SA has 38,797 active cases of Covid-19

There was an increase of 54 hospital admissions in the last 24 hours.

Beijing tightens Covid restrictions as long holiday begins

Restaurants in Beijing will temporarily ban dining and residents will need clear Covid tests to visit public spaces, officials said on Saturday, in a major increase in virus checks at the start of the Labor Day holiday.

The five-day break is usually one of China’s busiest travel periods, but the country’s worst resurgence of Covid since the start of the pandemic is expected to keep people at home.

Faced with the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Chinese officials doubled down on their zero-Covid policy, wiping out clusters of the virus through mass testing and lockdowns.

Despite rising economic costs and public frustration, the capital has announced it will further restrict access to public spaces during and after the holiday period.

From May 1 to May 4, restaurants in the city will stop serving food and only allow deliveries, local trade official Ding Jianhua said at a press conference on Saturday.

Authorities also said they have so far prepared 4,000 makeshift hospital beds, typically used for patients with mild or no Covid symptoms, and are speeding up the installation of larger quarantine sites.

From May 5, a negative Covid test taken in the last week will also be required to enter “all types of public areas and to take public transport”, according to a notice on the city’s official WeChat page.

For activities such as sporting events and group travel, participants will also need to show a negative Covid test taken within 48 hours, along with proof of “full vaccination”, under the new rules.

Frustration in Shanghai –

China reported more than 10,700 domestic Covid cases on Saturday, most in economic powerhouse Shanghai.

The eastern metropolis has been on lockdown for about a month after becoming the epicenter of the latest outbreak.

Cases are trending downward, but frustration and anger are boiling over in the city of 25 million where many have been ordered to stay at home for several weeks.

Officials in Shanghai said on Saturday that its new cases were among quarantined or restricted groups, indicating that community infections may be slowing.

They added that hundreds of companies on a “white list” had resumed work, with about 1,000 companies also allowed to restart operations, state media reported.

In Beijing, cases rose to 54, according to the National Health Commission.

As the long holiday began, consumers in the capital were asked to show proof of negative Covid tests – within 48 hours – to enter public areas such as malls, shops and scenic spots.

The city will make Covid testing free for residents starting Tuesday, officials said.

Additional AFP report

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