South Africa’s Covid-19 cases have now surpassed 3.5 million after 9 860 people tested positive on Thursday across the country.
According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), this means there are now 3 504 554 confirmed cases since the outbreak, representing a 21% positivity rate.
Data shows that the Western Cape recorded the highest daily infection after 2 632 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus, followed by 2 123 in Gauteng, 2 036 in KwaZulu-Natal and 1 079 in the Eastern Cape, while the rest of the provinces recorded less than 500 cases each.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health said the country logged over 500 COVID-19 deaths.
However, the department said the rise in the number of fatalities was due to the ongoing audit exercise conducted by provinces to address a backlog of COVID-19 mortality and new cases.
“Out of 551 deaths recorded today, only 45 have occurred in the past 48 hours,” the statement read on Thursday.
The Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, according to the department, account for 476 historical combined fatalities.
“The identification of these historic deaths is part of the process to align the provincial death line list with excess deaths.
“The provincial COVID-19 dashboards reflect COVID-19 deaths by date of death rather than by date reported, and provides the most accurate trends in deaths in patients with documented SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the department explained.
Meanwhile, government has administered 65 204 new COVID-19 vaccine doses, pushing the total to 28 233 512.
In addition, 15 737 760 or 39.54% adults are now fully vaccinated, while 963 184 jabs have been given to children.
Globally, as of 6 January 2022, there have been 296 496 809 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 5 462 631 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
During the week 27 December 2021 to 2 January 2022, the global number of new cases increased sharply by 71% as compared to the previous week, while the number of new deaths decreased by 10%.
“This corresponds to just under 9.5 million new cases and over 41 000 new deaths reported during the last week,” the agency said.
All regions reported a peak in the incidence of weekly cases, with the region of the Americas reporting the largest increase (100%), followed by South-East Asia (78%) and Europe (65%).
Meanwhile, Africa reported a weekly increase in the number of new deaths (22%), while all the other regions reported a decrease as compared to the previous week.
The highest numbers of new infections were reported from the United States (2 556 690 new cases, 92% increase), the United Kingdom (1 104 316 new cases, 51% increase), France (1 093 162 new cases, 117% increase), Spain (649 832 new cases, 60% increase) and Italy (644 508 new cases, 150% increase).