A demonstrable decline has also been seen in general ward admissions, ICU admissions and deaths
The Department of Health stated that the number of detected cases of Covid-19 countrywide continues to decline since 22 August, South Africa has seen under 3 000 cases a day.
At the height of the epidemic during the month of July, an increase in cases of between 10 000 and 15 000 was seen each day.
Supporting this decline is also a demonstrable decline in persons under investigation, general ward admissions, ICU admissions, deaths and excess deaths.
NICD analysis – case management
The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) Covid-19 Surveillance in Selected Hospitals Report of 11 September 2020 outlines analyses of data collected from 459 public and private facilities across the country.
This report shows a clear shift in the behaviour of the epidemic with downward trends in general ward and ICU admissions and deaths. In total, 66 515 patients were studied with 4 314 currently admitted.
The discharge rate from hospitals was reported at 75 per cent while the in-hospital case fatality ratio was 17.5 per cent. The average age for admissions was between 50 and 59 and the average age for deaths was between 60 and 69.
At the height of the epidemic, these sample hospitals were reporting between 6 400 and 6 800 admissions per week.
South Africa has benefited significantly from the contributions of the World Health Organisation (WHO) surge team that has come to reinforce the National Department of Health in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The WHO surge team has released a situational report on 10 September 2020 reflective of the 37th week of South-Africa’s epidemic, which confirms the decline as reported by NICD.
This report showed a 42 per cent decline of detected cases in the preceding two weeks and a 28.9 per cent decline in deaths in the same period.
Admission to critical care wards increased by 13.9 per cent during this epidemic week, however, admissions into general wards decreased by 43 per cent in the same period.
The average test positivity rate was recorded at 9.8 per cent compared to 11.4 per cent in the previous week.
Bed occupancy and oxygen demand
It was further reported that bed occupancy and oxygen demand are also declining.
The percentage of beds currently occupied by Covid-19 patients nationally is under 10 per cent for non-ICU beds and under 30 per cent for ICU beds.
There has been an increased acquisition of ventilators with 5 444 procured or received through donations and 2 848 currently awaiting delivery. South Africa is now reported to be manufacturing ventilators for the first time in history.
There are 20 000 ventilators expected to be produced through the National Ventilator Project.
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