SA KZN Records Highest Infection Rates

The KwaZulu Natal health department says the high number of new COVID-19 infections is due to the large number of people flocking to the province at the end of the year.

In the 24 hours up to Tuesday morning the province recorded 2 496 new COVID-19 infections, overtaking Gauteng with the highest infection rates in the country.

Addressing the media in a virtual meeting, Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane says on Sunday the province had registered over 4 000 new cases.

KwaZulu-Natal government is urging the public not to let their guard down this festive season as the number of new COVID 19 infections continues to increase.

In the last seven-day period, the daily new infections were all above 2 400 cases. The increase in new infections has surpassed those in Gauteng and is now the highest in the country.

Simelane, who gives a breakdown of the new cases recorded in the last seven-day window period, says the increase is concerning.

The Health MEC, however, says the increase in new infections is not entirely surprising. She says every festive season the province experiences a high influx of visitors and migrant workers coming back home for the holidays.

“But we also have a lot of people coming from the province returning home from the different provinces where they reside and work. So generally, we would have expected that our infections would go up during the festive season. But it is the number that becomes a course for concern. We also thank those who came forward to get tested and having done that they have removed all doubt.”

Children below age 14

The province has also registered a remarkable increase in the number of children below age 14 who have tested positive with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the past week.

Simelane says parents must be aware that the Omicron variant causes more severe illness among the younger age groups compared to other variants in South Africa.

“It is remarkable because we have not seen the same threads in the other new variants. In terms of deaths, we have not seen a high number, but in the few that we have recorded, all age groups are affected from 04 months upwards. That is yet another strong reason for parents to ensure that their children who are aged 12-17 are vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, the province has recorded 42 deaths in the last seven days. Simelane says although this number is far lower compared to that recorded during the same period last year, she says COVID-19 related deaths must be prevented.


Yeukai is a professional and experienced journalist, broadcaster & writer.

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