Covid-19 update: SA records 942 new cases and 37 deaths

South Africa on Wednesday recorded 942 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2.913,880.

This increase represents a 2.4% positivity rate.

The majority of new cases today are from Western Cape (23%), followed by Gauteng Province accounting for 18%. KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 15%; Free State accounted for 11%; Eastern Cape and Northern Cape each accounted for 10% respectively; North West accounted for 6%; Mpumalanga accounted for 5%; and Limpopo accounted for 1% of today’s new cases.

The country also recorded 37 new Covid-19 related deaths, bringing total fatalities to 88,466, announced the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service.

18,055,424 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors as per the table below.

There has been an increase of 70 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

WHO unveils new pandemic pathogen sleuth squad

The World Health Organization unveiled Wednesday a proposed team of scientists tasked with looking at new pathogens and preventing future pandemics — plus reviving the stalled probe into Covid-19’s origins.

The group of 26 experts will be charged with producing a new global framework for studies into the origins of emerging pathogens of epidemic and pandemic potential. Their remit includes SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes Covid-19 disease.

Besides the Covid-19 crisis, a growing number of high-risk pathogens have appeared or reappeared in recent years, including MERS, bird flu viruses, Lassa, Marburg and Ebola.

The WHO announced earlier this year that it would set up a Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).

“The emergence of new viruses with the potential to spark epidemics and pandemics is a fact of nature, and while SARS-CoV-2 is the latest such virus, it will not be the last,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“Understanding where new pathogens come from is essential for preventing future outbreaks with epidemic and pandemic potential, and requires a broad range of expertise.

“We are very pleased with the calibre of experts selected for SAGO from around the world, and look forward to working with them to make the world safer.”

Additional reporting by AFP

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