The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, continues to provide laboratory-based surveillance to inform the public health response towards COVID-19 in South Africa.

The national 7-day moving average of daily case numbers, positivity rate and testing rate continue to decrease, with sustained decreases seen in all provinces. Today the institute reports 2,967 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,889,298. This increase represents a 7.0% positivity rate. “Gauteng, Limpopo and North West Provinces have exited the third wave according to the current wave definitions. There are also sustained decreases in COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths in all provinces. These trends are encouraging but we should not let our guard down yet,” says Dr Michelle Groome, Head of the Division of Public Health, Surveillance and Response at the NICD.

As per the National Department of Health, a further 124 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 86,500 to date. 17,452,783 tests have been conducted in both public and private sectors as per the table below.

Sector Total tested New tested
PRIVATE 9 425 440 54% 20,299 48%
PUBLIC 8,027,343 46% 22,280 52%
Total 17,452,783   42,579  


The majority of new cases today are from KwaZulu-Natal (23%), followed by Western Cape (20%). Eastern Cape accounted for 12%; Free State & Gauteng Province each accounted for 11% respectively; Northern Cape accounted for 8%; North West accounted for 7%; Mpumalanga accounted for 6%; and Limpopo accounted for 2% of today’s new cases. The cumulative number of cases by province is shown in the table below:

Province Total cases for 21 September 2021 Adjusted numbers after harmonisation Updated total cases on 21 September 2021 New cases on 22 September 2021 Total cases for 22 September 2021 Percentage total
Eastern Cape 288,331 0 288,331 345 288,676 10,0
Free State 159,531 0 159,531 321 159,852 5,5
Gauteng 914,455 5 914,460 326 914,786 31,7
KwaZulu-Natal 507,916 1 507,917 696 508,613 17,6
Limpopo 121,609 0 121,609 48 121,657 4,2
Mpumalanga 150,075 0 150,075 179 150,254 5,2
North West 148,597 -5 148,592 213 148,805 5,2
Northern Cape 89,083 -6 890,77 250 89,327 3,1
Western Cape 506,734 5 506,739 589 507,328 17,6
Unknown 0 0 0 0 0 0,0
Total 2,886,331 0 2,886,331 2,967 2,889,298 100,0

The total number of cases today (n= 3 961) is lower than yesterday (n= 5 309) and lower than the average number of new cases per day over the 7 preceding days (n= 5 465). The 7-day moving average daily number of cases has decreased.

For more detailed information, visit the GIS Dashboard.

There has been an increase of 142 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours. The following table is a summary of reported COVID-19 admissions by sector.

Sector Facilities Reporting Admissions
to Date
Died to Date Currently Admitted
Private 255 197,841 36,356 3,879
Public 409 228,577 55,632 3,965
TOTAL 664 426,418 91,988 7,844

Groome says that while vaccination coverage is increasing amid stable vaccine supply, we have not yet vaccinated the majority of the adult population. “Some 30% of the adult population have received at least one vaccine dose and in the coming months we need to prioritise the vaccine rollout, especially to those at risk for severe COVID-19 disease and those with underlying comorbidities. Mask wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene remain the main preventative strategies until our vaccine coverage rates increase,” she stresses.

For updates on the national vaccine programme, click here. Thank you for your interest and remember that adhering to preventative measures limits your risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. For more information on COVID-19, click here.

Kind regards,
Sinenhlanhla Jimoh, Senior Communications Manager
National Institute for Communicable Diseases

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