KwaZulu-Natal has officially entered the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections as the province recorded a significant and alarming climb in the number of daily cases in the last week.
While the number of infections have rapidly increased in the last seven days, the rate of hospitalisations has also increased, including patients who require ICU and ventilation. The districts showing high infection rates for the past seven days are eThekwini, Umgungundlovu and Amajuba.
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala attributed the new wave of infections to the Omicron variant. In a media briefing on Sunday, Zikalala said the current number of infections was twice the number received two weeks ago. Three weeks ago, the province had a positivity rate of 0.7%, but as of Sunday, the positivity rate has jumped to 12.7%.
The province started receiving more than 100 cases per day from November 26, while the average number of cases received daily rose from 47 to 362 cases per day.
The incidence risk per 100 000 population has also increased from 3 to 18 cases per 100 000 population in the past seven days. The increase in numbers contributed to an increase in the seven-day moving average.
All of these developments indicate that we have now entered the fourth wave. The rate of hospitalisations has also increased, including patients who require ICU and ventilation. We can confirm that the vast majority of those patients who require treatment in ICU and ventilation are those who have not been vaccinated,” Zikalala said.
Further analysis of the provincial trends show that while there was no significant increase in the number of deaths, people above the age of 60 have registered more deaths, while there has been a notable increase in the infection rate among those who are aged between 30 and 50. The three leading comorbidities are still hypertension, diabetes and tuberculosis.
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