1,183 new cases reported in SA, China still under lockdown – The Citizen

As of Saturday, 9 April, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases in South Africa is 3,731,247 with 1,183 new cases identified, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed.

This represents a 4.8% positivity rate.

Twelve Covid-19 related deaths were reported – four of which occurred in the past 24 – 48 hours – bringing the total number of deaths to 100,096.

There has been an increase of 21 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.

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The total number of recoveries stands at 3,618,708. South Africa currently has 12,443 active cases.

24,044,412 tests in total have been conducted to date in both public and private sectors.

The total number of vaccines administered in the country so far stands at 34,054,426 as of 8 April.

Provincial breakdown

The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (44%), followed by Kwa-Zulu Natal (20%).

Western Cape accounted for 19%; Eastern Cape accounted for 7% and Mpumalanga accounted for 4%.

Free State, Limpopo and North West each accounted for 2% and Northern Cape accounted for less than 1% of today’s new cases.

International updates

US warns of ‘arbitrary’ Covid measures in China

The United States on Saturday warned of “arbitrary” Covid-19 measures in China and said it would let some staff leave its Shanghai consulate amid a surge of infections in the locked-down megacity.

Until March, China had kept cases low with snap lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions, but more than 100,000 cases have been reported in Shanghai since March in a test of the country’s strict zero-Covid policy.

The city’s roughly 25 million inhabitants were locked down in phases last week, prompting complaints of food shortages and viral videos of disgruntled residents scuffling with officials.

The US State Department will now allow non-essential employees to leave its consulate in Shanghai “due to a surge in Covid-19 cases and the impact of restrictions related to the response”, a US embassy spokesperson said in a statement.

The statement warned citizens to reconsider travelling to China, “due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws and Covid-19-related restrictions”, adding that the embassy in Beijing had raised its concerns over the measures with the Chinese government.

Shanghai reported more than 23,000 new infections on Saturday — mostly asymptomatic, accounting for more than 90% of new domestic infections in the country.

City authorities have prepared thousands of new beds in more than 100 makeshift hospitals, Shanghai’s vice mayor Zong Ming said during a press conference Saturday.

The largest of these, a 50,000-bed hospital in the landmark National Exhibition and Convention Center, opened Saturday according to state news agency Xinhua.

As part of China’s zero-Covid policy, authorities are insisting on isolating every person who tests positive in hospital wards — which have left existing facilities overrun with patients, even if they show no severe symptoms.

Meanwhile locals have begun to chafe at lockdown restrictions, with many taking to social media to complain of food shortages and express outrage over the recent killing of a pet corgi by health workers, for fear of being infected.

An unpopular policy of separating infected children from their virus-free parents was softened this week after triggering public anger.

But Beijing is sticking to its zero-tolerance approach and is determined to squash the Shanghai outbreak, sending medical workers from around the country in as reinforcements.

Shanghai officials said Saturday they planned to perform a new round of PCR tests on the city’s entire population, after which it would begin relaxing rules in some neighbourhoods — provided they met the strict requirement of no infections in the past 14 days.