The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, continues to monitor COVID-19 trends nationally. We have noted an upsurge in cases in the Northern Cape, North West and Free State Provinces. “The team is working with the respective provinces to ascertain whether the rise in cases can be attributed to cluster outbreaks, and recommend increased testing and contact tracing to contain the situation and limit further spread,” says Dr Harry Moultrie, Senior Epidemiologist at the NICD.
With the April school holiday season rapidly approaching and many making plans for travel and social gatherings, complying with non-pharmaceutical measures to minimise transmission of the virus remains vital. This includes the proper wearing of masks, practising good hand hygiene and maintaining a physical distance of at least 1.5 m from others. Where possible, social activities should take place outdoors or in well-ventilated areas/rooms with open windows and doors, as proper ventilation plays an important role in reducing transmission.
“We want to reassure the South African public that we are actively monitoring the situation in these provinces and will keep the community informed of any new developments,” says Prof Adrian Puren, the NICD’s Acting Executive Director. The NICD monitors the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and tests performed on a daily basis, and tracks changes over time to pick up significant increases. The DATCOV hospital surveillance platform monitors COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital in all provinces of South Africa.
For more information, contact Sinenhlanhla Jimoh, Senior Communications Manager at the NICD on firstname.lastname@example.org