South Africa had 337,594 confirmed Covid-19 cases by Friday night. Most of them are still in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape. A total of 13,373 new cases were reported in the preceding 24-hour period.
Dr. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the death toll from Covid-19 now stands at 4,804 after another 135 deaths were reported.
South Africa has so far conducted 2 373 053 tests for Covid-19, 48 130 since the previous report. So far, 178,183 people have already recovered from the virus.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) stood at 4,154 by Friday. A total of 2,458 officers and 1,606 prisoners tested positive for the virus.
There are currently 1,458 active cases of the virus in the department.
Most cases are in the Eastern Cape.
Isolation period shortened
Mkhize also announced that the isolation period for those who contracted Covid-19 was reduced from 14 days to ten. The shortened period is in accordance with guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to Mkhize, most Covid-19 patients are no longer contagious after a certain period of time. Most people spread the virus from their upper airways for approximately seven to 12 days.
“The presence of a detectable virus when tested also does not necessarily mean contagion. It has been proven that in moderate cases, virus samples are usually only positive for eight to nine days after symptoms begin to show. ”
Those with severe Covid-19 can stay contagious for longer.
“To put it simply: If a patient is admitted and placed on oxygen, we suggest that when oxygen is no longer provided, the patient remains in isolation for another ten days.”
According to Mkhize, it is an additional buffer to ensure a patient is no longer contagious.
Asymptomatic patients are advised to remain in isolation for ten days after receiving a positive test result.