The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed on Thursday, December 24 that South Africa has recorded 21 157 new COVID-19 infections.
According to the NICD, most of the cases were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal (5 241), Western Cape (4 597) and Gauteng (4 206). The NICD said that there are now 3 374 262 confirmed cases since the outbreak as the positivity rate currently stands at 29.1%.
“The Department of Health said 75 more people lost their lives to COVID-19 complications, pushing the death toll to 90 662 since the outbreak.
“In addition, there are now 9 202 patients receiving hospital treatment due to the respiratory disease after 411 were admitted in the past 24 hours,” the NICD adds.
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The Department of Health further mentioned that it has administered 42 015 COVID-19 vaccines, 7 620 of which were given to children between the ages of 12 and 17. This pushes the number of distributed vaccines since the start of the rollout programme to 27 778 860.
The latest data indicates that 15 488 743 adults are now fully jabbed in South Africa, while 17 747 890 children over the age of 18 have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccines administered in the country. 881 120 vaccines have been given to children aged between 12 and 17.
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Meanwhile, the Department of Health also announced that COVID-19 contact tracing will be stopped with immediate effect, except where infections are picked up in cluster outbreaks and congregate settings, which includes prisons, old age homes and children’s homes.
The department updated a memorandum which stated that there was new information about COVID-19 such as the high number of asymptomatic cases and that only a small proportion of infections were diagnosed through lab testing.