PHOTO: The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, with its spike proteins shown in red. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Wikimedia Commons

The Coronavirus continues to spread in South Africa as cases jumped to 796 472 after 4 173 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the death toll has now risen by 65, bringing the tally to 21 709 since the outbreak.

Of the latest deaths, 30 were recorded in the Western Cape, 15 in Free State, 12 in KwaZulu-Natal and four in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.

“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers that treated the deceased patients,” said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.

NICD clarifies testing data

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has since rectified its testing data.

On 27 November 2020, the institute reported the total cumulative number of tests conducted as 5 350 076 which was 33 002 tests less than what was reported the previous day.

“From time to time, epidemiological centres undertake audits at various intervals to interrogate the efficiency of the data, clean up the data where necessary and implement improved systems for data collation,” the institute explained.

This is important to ensure an accurate epidemiological picture, particularly when the situation is rapidly evolving as with COVID-19, the NICD added.

According to the NICD, the change is related to testing numbers and does not affect the daily positive case numbers reported by the Minister.

The NICD has since submitted a report outlining the factors that led to this reduction in cumulative tests after consultation with the Incidence Management Team on Wednesday.

These include aligning the reporting of test data with the source of case data, prepare for the inclusion of antigen-based tests and improvement in the process for identifying and removing duplications of the same test from the same patient.

“Removal of samples that were collected outside of the country but tested in South Africa. This guarantees that the testing numbers only reflect South African samples (this ensures an accurate epidemiological picture in relation to the South African context),” the NICD added.

As of 2 December, the NICD is reporting 5 468 670 of which 32 846 were conducted on Wednesday.

The World Health Organisation is reporting 63 360 234 confirmed global cases of COVID-19, including 1 475 825 deaths. –