has no monkeypox but on high alert of infection-NICD
Johannesburg, May 23, 2022 South Africa says that it does not currently have any monkeypox cases but faced the risk of importing, said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Monday.
“The implications for South Africa are that the risk of importation of monkeypox is a reality as lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemuc have illustrated that outbreaks in another part of the world can fast become a global concern,’’ said NICD Executive Director Adrian Puren.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that it does not recommend any travel restrictions as of yet.
However, Puren said anyone entering South Africa and experiencing illness during travel or upon return from an endemic zone should inform a healthcare professional, taking into account recent travel, vaccination history, and contacting any known cases.
Dr. Jacqueline Weyer from the Special Viral Pathogens Division at the Centre for Emerging, Zoonotic and Parasitic Diseases declared that the NICD Sequencing Core Facility would be able to provide sequencing analysis rapidly in the event a case was identified so that it could be compared to the current outbreak strain.
Scientists from South Africa said on Thursday that they had detected a new variant of Covid-19 with a large number of mutations, blaming it for an increase in the number of infections.
The number of daily infections in the worst affected country in Africa has increased tenfold since the beginning of the month.
In response, Britain has banned all travel from the country and five other southern African nations as concerns grow about the new variant, which scientists say could be more infectious than Delta and more resistant to current vaccines.
"Unfortunately, we have detected a new variant, which is cause for concern in South Africa," virologist Tulio de Oliveira told a hastily called press conference.
The variant, which carries the scientific label B.1.1.529, "has a very high number of mutations," he said, adding that the World Health Organization could give it a Greek variant name, such as the dominant Delta strain, the Friday. .
"Unfortunately, it is causing a resurgence of infections," he said.
The variant has also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong among travelers from South Africa, de Oliveira added.
The WHO said it is "closely monitoring" the reported variant and is expected to meet on Friday to determine whether it should be designated as a variant of "interest" or "concern."
"The first analyzes show that this variant has a large number of mutations that require and will be the subject of further study," added the WHO.
'A great threat'
South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the variant was of "grave concern" and was behind an "exponential" increase in reported cases, making it "a major threat".
The daily number of infections in the country reached 1,200 on Wednesday, up from 106 at the beginning of the month.
Before the detection of the new variant, authorities had predicted that a fourth wave would arrive in South Africa from mid-December, fueled by travel ahead of the holiday season.
The government-run National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said 22 positive cases of the new variant have been recorded in the country.
The NICD said the number of detected cases and the percentage of positive results are "increasing rapidly" in three of the country's provinces, including Gauteng, home to the economic center of Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria.
A cluster outbreak was recently identified, concentrated at a higher education institute in Pretoria, the NICD added.
Last year, the Beta variant of the virus first appeared in South Africa, although so far its infection figures have been boosted by Delta, which was originally detected in India.
South Africa has the highest number of pandemics in Africa with around 2.95 million cases, of which 89,657 have been fatal.
The scientists said the new variant has at least 10 mutations, compared to two for Delta and three for Beta.
"The concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves," Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on Covid-19, said at a virtual press conference.
"It will take us a few weeks to understand the impact this variant has on potential vaccines," he added.
Neutralizing the variant is "complicated by the number of mutations that this variant contains," said one of the South African scientists Penny Moore.
"This variant contains many mutations that we are not familiar with," he added.
The African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they will meet with South African experts soon to discuss the variant.
"There are so many variants, but some of them have no consequence on the trajectory of the epidemic," CDC Africa Director John Nkengasong told a news conference on Thursday.
After a slow start to South Africa's vaccination campaign, about 41 percent of adults have received at least one dose, while 35 percent are fully vaccinated. Those numbers are well above the continental average of 6.6 percent of people vaccinated.
South Africa aims to vaccinate 70 percent of its 59 million people.
With reserves of 16.5 million injections, South Africa has postponed the delivery of more ordered doses because "we are getting the vaccines faster than we are using them," said Health Ministry Director Nicholas Crisp.
Source Credit: TheGuardian
It is difficult to predict the magnitude and timing of a possible resurgence of COVID-19, however, we implore the unvaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine.JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 23, 2021 / APO Group / -
The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has observed an increase in the 7-day moving average for new COVID-19 cases and the percentage of positive tests in Gauteng, particularly in Tshwane. between 10 - 29 years old during the last week. In addition, the NICD has recently identified a group in the 20-44 age group at an institute of higher education in Tshwane. "We are monitoring these trends to see if these increases persist," comments NICD Acting Executive Director Professor Adrian Puren. He continues: "The localized increases in the number of cases (clusters) are not unexpected, however, it is difficult to say whether the increases indicate the beginning of a generalized resurgence."
Previous waves have been largely driven by the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, Beta in the second wave and Delta in the third wave. "Genomic sequencing in South Africa, to date, has not yet detected the emergence of new variants that are making up an increasing proportion of the sequences," adds Puren. There are some inherent delays in molecular sequencing, due to sample transport and the time required to process them. Regardless of possible new variants in the future, the importance of non-pharmaceutical interventions remains unchanged and people are encouraged to wear masks, practice hand hygiene, maintain social distancing, and gather in well-ventilated spaces.
Currently, the National Department of Health reports that 41% of adults in South Africa have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 35% are fully vaccinated. "It is difficult to predict the magnitude and timing of a possible resurgence of COVID-19, however, we implore the unvaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine, especially the elderly and those with comorbidities," emphasizes the Head of the Division of Public Health Surveillance. and Answer, Dr. Michelle Groome. In addition, it adds that vaccination and previous infection provide good protection against the development of a serious disease and, while there could be an increase in the number of future cases, the number of hospitalizations and deaths is expected to be less severe in comparison. with previous revivals.
"As the endemic continues, I would like to assure the public that the NICD continues to acutely monitor trends in case numbers, positivity rates and hospitalizations," concludes Puren.
National seven-day moving average of daily case count, positivity rate and testing rate continues to declineCAPE TOWN, South Africa, September 27, 2021 / APO Group / -
Twenty-one percent of the country's adult population are now fully vaccinated after 6,187 people received either a Johnson & Johnson injection or the second Pfizer vaccine on Sunday.
According to the Department of Health, South Africa administered 9,419 injections in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 16,827,790, while the country now has 8,391,620 people vaccinated.
Meanwhile, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), the country has emerged from the third wave according to the current definition.
"The national seven-day moving average of the number of daily cases, the positivity rate and the screening rate continues to decline, with sustained declines seen in all provinces," said the NICD.
Meanwhile, the latest data shows the institute has reported 967 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,896,943.
“This increase represents a 5% positivity rate,” NICD said, adding that there had been an increase of 56 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that test positivity remain at 5% or less for 14 days before countries or regions can reopen.
In addition, 34 more people died of the disease, bringing the death toll to 87,001.
The information is based on the 17,553,515 tests, of which 19,160 were performed on Sunday.
Globally, as of September 24, 2021, 230,418,451 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 4,724,876 deaths, have been reported to WHO.
The seven-day moving average daily number of cases has decreasedCAPE TOWN, South Africa, September 20, 2021/APO Group/ --
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says the country is experiencing a sustained downward trend in new COVID-19 infections.
On Sunday, the country recorded 2 281 new laboratory confirmed cases, with 58 new COVID-19 related deaths.
There were 79 new hospitalisations as a result of the disease.
“The total number of cases… is lower than yesterday and lower than the average number of new cases per day over the seven preceding days. The seven-day moving average daily number of cases has decreased,” the NICD said.
The institute said the new cases represent a positivity rate of 7.4%.
“The majority of new cases… are from KwaZulu-Natal (518), followed by Western Cape (390). Northern Cape (309) and Eastern Cape (321), Gauteng Province accounted for (235), Free State accounted for 212; Mpumalanga accounted for 148; North West accounted for 124 and Limpopo accounted for 24 of… new cases,” the institute said.
The total number of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases now stand at 2, 882, 630, with 86, 174 people succumbing to illnesses related to the disease.
At least 17, 598 vaccines were administered on Sunday, bringing the total number of vaccines administered to just under 16 million.
Fully vaccinated individuals now account for at least 7.9 million people in the country.
There has been an increase of 163 hospital admissions in the past 24 hoursCAPE TOWN, South Africa, September 14, 2021/APO Group/ --
Of the 14, 922, 954 million COVID-19 doses given so far in South Africa, 217, 752 were administered in the past 24 hours.
This means there are now 10, 860, 605 citizens who have received a jab in the country out of the 39, 789, 201 adults government is targeting.
In addition, the Department of Health said there are 7, 330, 517 people who have been vaccinated in South Africa.
Meanwhile, the country reported 2, 640 new infections, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2, 860, 835.
The majority of additional infections were logged in the Eastern Cape after 864 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus.
The province is followed by 601 cases in KwaZulu-Natal, 258 in Free State and 240 in the Western Cape.
However, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the current surge is showing signs of a sustained downward trend.
In addition, a further 125 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing the tally to 85, 002 to date.
“There has been an increase of 163 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours,” the NICD added.
The information is based on the 17, 098, 529 tests, of which 25, 293 were performed since the last reporting cycle.
According to the World Health Organisation, as of 13 September 2021, there have been 224, 511, 226 confirmed global cases of COVID-19, 4, 627, 540 deaths and 5, 534, 977, 637 administered vaccine doses.
The Health Department has reported that 202, 637 COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the last 24-hour reporting cycleCAPE TOWN, South Africa, September 8, 2021/APO Group/ --
South Africa has recorded at least 5, 372 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24-hour reporting cycle, with a further 282 COVID-19 related deaths recorded.
According to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), this brings the total number of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases to 2, 829, 435, with 83, 899 fatalities reported to date.
The NICD said 43, 632 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours, which indicates a positivity rate of about 12.3%.
The provincial breakdown of new cases is as follows: KwaZulu-Natal has the majority of new cases at 1, 348; Eastern Cape 1 287; Western Cape 948; Free State 581; Gauteng 457; Mpumalanga 250; North West 268; Northern Cape 154 and Limpopo 79.
The institute said 302 more people were hospitalised – bringing the total number of current hospitalisations to 11, 429.
Meanwhile, the Health Department has reported that 202, 637 COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the last 24-hour reporting cycle.
This brings the cumulative number of vaccines administered to 13, 892, 301.
There are 146, 715 people who were fully vaccinated in the past 24 hoursCAPE TOWN, South Africa, August 25, 2021/APO Group/ --
South Africa has now topped 11 million administered COVID-19 vaccines, as the country expands its national inoculation programme.
According to the Department of Health, the country distributed 266, 988 jabs on Tuesday, pushing the tally to 11, 076, 106.
In addition, there are 146, 715 people who were fully vaccinated in the past 24 hours.
The latest data also shows that government has already reached 21.21% of the country’s adult population, of which 58.72% are women and 41.28% males.
Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said there are 10, 346 people who have tested positive since the last reporting cycle.
According to the NICD, most infections were from KwaZulu-Natal (3,160), followed by Eastern Cape (2,103) and Western Cape (2,029).
This means the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases has risen to 2, 708, 951 since the first case was reported last year.
In addition, South Africa logged an additional 369 deaths, bringing the tally to 79,953.
On 24 August, 493 new patients were admitted to hospital with COVID-19, meaning that there are now 13 974 people who are currently receiving treatment at health institutions across the country.
According to the statistics, 55, 678 new tests were conducted on Tuesday.
Globally, there have been 212, 357, 898 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 4, 439, 843 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
There have been 209, 201, 939 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 4, 390, 467 deathsCAPE TOWN, South Africa, August 20, 2021/APO Group/ --
South Africa has surpassed the 10 million mark of administering COVID-19 jabs.
According to the Department of Health, the country distributed 191, 806 COVID-19 shots on Thursday, taking the number of administered jabs to 10, 167, 749 since the start of the vaccination rollout programme.
In addition, 137, 215 people were fully inoculated in the last 24 hours, pushing the tally to 4, 629, 371, translating to 7, 808, 626 people who have received the shot.
Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said 13, 672 new COVID-19 cases were detected yesterday, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed infections to 2 652, 652.
The majority of the new cases were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal (3, 911) followed by the Western Cape (3, 707), Gauteng (1, 579), and the Eastern Cape (1, 436).
“This increase represents a 19.9% positivity rate,” the NICD explained, adding that the seven-day moving average daily number of cases has peaked.
Meanwhile, 317 more people lost their lives to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 78, 694.
In addition, the public health institute said 536 more people were admitted to hospitals in the past 24 hours, meaning there are currently 13 940 patients in hospitals out of the 162 205 active cases.
The information is based on the 15, 821, 074 tests of which 68, 540 were conducted since the last reporting cycle.
Globally, as of 19 August 2021, there have been 209, 201, 939 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 4, 390, 467 deaths, reported to the World Health Organisation.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), together with research partners Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU), Epicentre, and Genesis Analytics, are currently conducting a survey on Healthcare Utilisation and Seroprevalence of COVID-19 in three districts in South Africa, referred to as the HUTS survey.
The NICD has been monitoring respiratory diseases, such as influenza and pneumococcal disease, in South Africa since 1984. These surveillance systems include pneumonia and influenza-like illness surveillance systems conducted at 15 hospitals and clinics in five different provinces in South Africa. As part of the surveillance, individuals are enrolled and samples are collected to test for pathogens of public health importance, including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and Bordetella pertussis. As of March 2020, the testing of samples for COVID-19 was included. The survey is be conducted in the same districts where the NICD has these long-standing surveillance programmes.
Although these surveillance programmes have provided the NICD with valuable data and allow for the monitoring of trends, they only give a limited view of the complete burden of disease. Surveillance thus far has been limited to situations where the patient has accessed health services, which means those who haven’t visited clinics or hospitals are not included. The confirmation of COVID-19 infection depends PCR or antigen testing, and is usually only performed for those who seek medical assistance as a result of their illness, which is unlikely the case for those who have only experienced mild or no symptoms.
We know from COVID-19 studies in other countries that the majority of infections have been mild with medical care not required, however, the percentage of mild or asymptomatic infections in communities in South Africa is not known. As such, more in-depth research is required to understand how many people have been infected and thereby the community burden of COVID-19. Whilst collecting this data, additional research questions are being addressed, including Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices (KAP) of COVID-19, and the economic effects that COVID-19 has had on households, as well as healthcare utilisation and costs during the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented suffering throughout the world, including in South Africa. We want to give South Africans the opportunity to share their experiences of COVID-19, and how they have been personally affected. Understanding the specific needs of our own population will help to better inform policy and guidelines. We hope that people will take this opportunity to be part of the response” – Prof Cheryl Cohen, Centre Head of the CRDM, NICD.
The HUTS survey will include:
The survey has been designed to collect similar information to other surveys being conducted, both in South Africa and globally. It is vitally important to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the lives of the people of South Africa, and to not only rely on international data to drive decisions made for South Africa.
“We desperately need better data on SARS-CoV-2 transmission from our context; we cannot keep extrapolating from European and Asian counterparts, when our epidemic clearly has different dynamics. This is a superb team, with tons of experience in infectious disease pandemics, and I look forward to their data enabling more coherent responses to the pandemic” – Prof Francois Venter, Ezintsha.
The HUTS research consortium would like to request all the randomly pre-selected households to take this opportunity to participate in this survey. The results of the survey will be crucial in assisting the government in both planning and development of the national response to the COVID-19 epidemic in the country.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa (NICD).