Medical specialist in the Western Cape Health Department, Professor Mary-Anne Davies, has called on people to quarantine if they have flu-like symptoms, even before testing for COVID-19.  

She was speaking during a weekly briefing on the coronavirus.  

Davies says the symptom profile for COVID-19 is different from the current Delta variant.

“Instead of severe fever and loss of smell and a loss of taste that were very prominent in the first and second wave, what we are seeing now is that the symptom profile does seem to be different and it’s more like a common cold. It can be a headache, a sore throat, a runny nose and sneezing with no fever at all, and this is important because people may think I just got a normal cold and may not realise that they are a case and they need to isolate.” 

In the last reporting period, South Africa recorded 19 506 new COVID-19 cases, taking the national toll to 1 973 972 since the outbreak of the pandemic.

There were 383 new COVID-19-related deaths reported during the same period, pushing the total number of people who have succumbed to COVID-19-related complications 60 647.

Latest SA stats:

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The Department of Health Deputy Director-General, Dr Anban Pillay, says figures indicate that one out of four people is infected with the COVID-19 virus in the country.

Health authorities briefed Parliament’s Health Committee on the vaccination roll out and the Delta variant.

Pillay says the Delta variant has been detected in all provinces.

Delta variant detected in 6 districts in KwaZulu-Natal:

Gauteng remains the epicentre of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pillay says more and more people are testing positive.

“The percentage testing positive is the level of 24/25 which is one in four, higher in some provinces such as Gauteng province with 30%. (There is a) a significant number of people testing positive. (That) usually gives sense (of) what to anticipate depending where you are. So, for one in four or three people depending on where you are, you can assume that one of those individuals are infected,” explains Pillay.

Meanwhile, health workers in Gauteng are under heavy pressure as COVID-19 patients fill available hospital beds.

SANDF medics have been enlisted to assist, but trade unions say it’s not enough to deal with the staff shortages at health facilities.

Gauteng accounts for around two-thirds of new coronavirus cases in the country.

Close to 11 500 people have been hospitalised.