Gauteng accounted for 605 of the 868 new COVID-19 infections that were recorded on Tuesday.

This comes as the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) flagged a peak in the seven-day moving average in new COVID-19 cases in the province.

According to the NICD, the second hardest-hit province is the Western Cape with 52 cases, followed by 47 in Mpumalanga and 43 in the North West.

The increase represents a 2.1% positivity rate, pushing the total of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 948 760 since the outbreak.

As of Tuesday, the rapid antigen tests have been included in the country’s official COVID-19 statistics.

The NICD and National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) have optimised the systems to “accurately” reflect these reports, the statement read.

“The increase in cumulative cases in today’s report is attributed to the retrospective addition of 18 586 antigen tests that include the reporting of 868 positive cases recorded in the past 24 hours,” the institute said on Tuesday.

According to the NICD, the incorporation of antigen tests follows ongoing improvements to report as accurately as possible from all provinces and all testing facilities throughout South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health said a further 51 COVID-19 related fatalities have been reported, bringing the death toll to 89 635.

In addition, the department reported that there are now 14 031 159 people who are fully vaccinated after 120 311 jabs were distributed in the past 24 hours.

Of the latest administered vaccines, 110 907 were given to adults, while 9 404 were received by children.

This means the country has now distributed 24 874 528 vaccine doses since the start of the rollout programme.

Global view

Globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the numbers of weekly COVID-19 cases and deaths have increased for more than a month.

According to the weekly epidemiological update, nearly 3.6 million confirmed new cases and over 51 000 deaths were reported between 15 and 21 November 2021.

This reflects a 6% increase in cases and deaths as compared to the previous week.

The European region logged an 11% increase in new weekly cases, while the other regions reported a decrease or similar incident to the previous week.

While the Western Pacific and Americas recorded “relatively” stable case incidence, they both reported a large spike in new weekly deaths, 29% and 19% respectively.

In contrast, the African and the South-East Asia regions reported a 30% and 19% decrease in new weekly deaths.

The cumulative number of confirmed cases reported globally now stands at over 256 million and more than 5.1 million deaths.

The highest numbers of new cases were reported from the United States (558 538 new cases, similar to the previous week), Germany (333 473 new cases, 31% increase), the United Kingdom (281 063 new cases, 11% increase), Russia (260 484 new cases, similar to the previous week) and Turkey (163 835 new cases, 9% decrease).

In addition, the agency said the current global epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 is characterised by a predominance of the Delta variant. – 

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