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The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service, has noted an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the Northern Cape, North West and Free State Provinces.

In a statement on Wednesday, the NICD said it had noted this development as it continues to monitor COVID-19 trends nationally.

“The team is working with the respective provinces to ascertain whether the rise in cases can be attributed to cluster outbreaks, and recommend increased testing and contact tracing to contain the situation and limit further spread,” said Senior Epidemiologist at the NICD, Dr Harry Moultrie.

The NICD said, with the April school holiday season rapidly approaching and many making plans for travel and social gatherings, complying with non-pharmaceutical measures to minimise transmission of the virus remains vital.

“This includes the proper wearing of masks, practising good hand hygiene and maintaining a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others. Where possible, social activities should take place outdoors or in well-ventilated areas/rooms with open windows and doors, as proper ventilation plays an important role in reducing transmission,” said the institute.

Professor Adrian Puren, NICD Acting Executive Director said the institute was actively monitoring the situation in these provinces and would keep the community informed of any new developments.

The NICD monitors the number of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases and tests performed on a daily basis, and associated resurgence metrics. The DATCOV hospital surveillance platform monitors COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital in all provinces of South Africa.


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