COVID-19 TECHNICAL RESOURCES
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has received requests from insurance companies, business owners and members of the public to provide information on the location and dates of confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases in South Africa to facilitate the lodging and assessment of insurance claims.
The below link contains the date of the first confirmed known SARS-CoV-2 case by sub-district, or health area within metropolitan areas. It is almost certain that there were undiagnosed SARS-CoV-2 cases in all sub-districts prior to the date of the first confirmed, geolocated case provided in the list.
Data sources and methods
The following data sources, as of 21 January 2021, were used to compile the list:
- Laboratory data on all positive SARS-CoV-2 tests reported from public and private laboratories contained in the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) and NICD Data Warehouses
- The DATCOV hospital admission surveillance database, and the
- COVID-19 Notifiable Medical Conditions Sentinel Surveillance (NMCSS) masterlist.
The date of specimen collection, or alternatively the date of laboratory registration of sample were used to determine first date of SARS-Cov-2 cases. Sub-district and health area locations were determined from geolocation of patient residential addresses, the addresses of health practitioners or facilities where samples were collected or where patients were admitted, and the district and sub-district assignment of cases within the NMCSS database. Manual review of some early cases was undertaken to improve accuracy.
The list of first confirmed case is subject to the following limitations:
- Possible incomplete reporting of SARS-CoV-2 tests to the NHLS and NICD
- Incomplete reporting of COVID-19 hospital admissions to the NICD, particularly in the early stages of the epidemic
- The district and sub-district location of independent private practitioners is unknown for the majority of samples submitted to private laboratories
- Missing and incomplete patient address data
- While processes to ensure the accuracy of methods employed to geolocation non-standardised address fields have been implemented and are continuously being refined, geolocations may be subject to error. In particular addresses in informal settlements are less likely to be able to be geolocated resulting in a higher likelihood of these addresses not being geolocated.
- Provincial and district departments of health, individual health care providers and members of the public may have access to other sources of information regarding the timing, location, and movement of COVID-19 cases.
- Delays between infection and sample collection have not been taken into account.
The NICD continues to refine the geolocation algorithms and incorporate additional sources of data to compile the list of first confirmed cases by sub-district. As of 21 January 2021, 13.6% of cases in the NMCSS had not been allocated to a district and 27% had not been allocated to a sub-district. As our geolocation algorithms are refined, and additional data sources are incorporated, the dates of first confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases may change
The occupational health surveillance system (OHSS) aims to design and implement COVID-19 surveillance digital platforms and/or tap into existing platforms (e.g. those already used by employers) to collect symptom screening, testing, contact tracing, vulnerability data and return to work data through a surveillance system for all workers in the private and public sector. The operational requirements of the OHSS have also been subjected to scrutiny to ensure that it upholds all aspects – in terms of confidentiality and ethical standards – as determined by South African Regulations in relation to COVID-19.
Click the link below to access documents to assist with the submission of the relevant information as legislated in the DEL directive released on 28th September 2020.
The National Essential Medicines List COVID-19 subcommittee of the South African National Department of Health are conducting rapid evidence synthesis reports of therapeutics for the management of COVID-19.
The reports provide up-to-date information and guidance based on current evidence and inform the National Clinical Guidelines for the Clinical Management of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 disease. These timestamped reviews are updated as new relevant evidence for COVID-19 becomes available and are accessible below:
Please note that COVID-19 specific notification tools have been developed to collect additional data elements than collected for other NMCs. The enhanced data elements help to inform the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please use these COVID-19 specific tools for all COVID-19 notifications. Click on this link to access the documents.