New COVID-19 Cases per week in South Africa

As an epidemiologist, I want to see if the number of new cases of COVID-19 is increasing, stable or decreasing over time. This in order to know if things are getting better or worse. Since reporting can vary significantly from day to day it is helpful to look at changes from week to week. When I could not find this information for the different provinces anywhere, I decided to keep track of the numbers myself.

    • As you can see, currently in South Africa – and many of the provinces – the number of new cases is showing a decreasing trend. However, it is questionable if this decrease is as large as it looks like, as there is a huge decrease in the number of tests. In the week ending on 1 August, almost 43 000 fewer tests results were reported compared to the week ending 18 July which amounts to about 11 000 fewer new cases reported (using the average test positivity rate of the week ending on 1 August). In general, one must keep in mind that this graph only shows the number of confirmed cases, so excludes everyone else who may have been infected but was not tested (due to being asymptomatic, limiting tests to certain patient groups due to shortage of test kits, reagents and laboratory capacity), so the actual number of cases is probably higher.

      A more reliable indicator of the progress of the epidemic at this point might be the number of people who die of COVID-19. However, the reported number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in South Africa is much lower than the recorded "excess deaths" in the country. [samrc.ac.za/reports/report-weekly-deaths-south-africa] Tracking excess mortality is widely seen as way to gauge the full scale of fatalities from Covid-19 as it e.g. includes those suspected of having the coronavirus who died without having been tested.

    • As you can see, currently in South Africa – and many of the provinces – the number of new cases is showing an upward trend, meaning that if this increase continues, there will be considerably more new cases in each week to come. One must keep in mind that this graph only shows the number of confirmed cases, so excludes everyone else who may have been infected but was not tested (so the actual number of cases is probably much higher).

      A more reliable indicator of the progress of the epidemic at this point might be the number of people who die of COVID-19.

    • As you can see, currently in South Africa – and many of the provinces – the number of new cases is showing an upward trend, meaning that if this increase continues, there will be considerably more new cases in each week to come. One must keep in mind that this graph only shows the number of confirmed cases, so excludes everyone else who may have been infected but was not tested (so the actual number of cases is probably much higher).

      A more reliable indicator of the progress of the epidemic at this point might be the number of people who die of COVID-19.

    • As you can see, currently in South Africa – and many of the provinces – the number of new cases is showing an upward trend, meaning that if this increase continues, there will be considerably more new cases in each week to come. One must keep in mind that this graph only shows the number of confirmed cases, so excludes everyone else who may have been infected but was not tested (so the actual number of cases is probably much higher).

      A more reliable indicator of the progress of the epidemic at this point might be the number of people who die of COVID-19.

    • As you can see, currently in South Africa – and many of the provinces – the number of new cases is showing an upward trend, meaning that if this increase continues, there will be considerably more new cases in each week to come. One must keep in mind that this graph only shows the number of confirmed cases, so excludes everyone else who may have been infected but was not tested (so the actual number of cases is probably much higher).

      A more reliable indicator of the progress of the epidemic at this point might be the number of people who die of COVID-19.

    • As you can see, currently in South Africa – and many of the provinces – the number of new cases is showing an upward trend, meaning that if this increase continues, there will be considerably more new cases in each week to come. One must keep in mind that this graph only shows the number of confirmed cases, so excludes everyone else who may have been infected but was not tested (so the actual number of cases is probably much higher).

      A more reliable indicator of the progress of the epidemic at this point might be the number of people who die of COVID-19.

    • As you can see, currently in South Africa – and many of the provinces – the number of new cases is showing an upward trend, meaning that if this increase continues, there will be considerably more new cases in each week to come. One must keep in mind that this graph only shows the number of confirmed cases, so excludes everyone else who may have been infected but was not tested (so the actual number of cases is probably much higher).

      A more reliable indicator of the progress of the epidemic at this point might be the number of people who die of COVID-19.

    • As you can see, currently in South Africa – and many of the provinces – the number of new cases is showing an upward trend, meaning that if this increase continues, there will be considerably more new cases in each week to come. One must keep in mind that this graph only shows the number of confirmed cases, so excludes everyone else who may have been infected but was not tested (so the actual number of cases is probably much higher).

      A more reliable indicator of the progress of the epidemic at this point might be the number of people who die of COVID-19.

    • As you can see, currently in South Africa – and many of the provinces – the number of new cases is showing an upward trend, meaning that if this increase continues, there will be considerably more new cases in each week to come. One must keep in mind that this graph only shows the number of confirmed cases, so excludes everyone else who may have been infected but was not tested (so the actual number of cases is probably much higher).

      A more reliable indicator of the progress of the epidemic at this point might be the number of people who die of COVID-19.

    • As you can see, currently in South Africa – and many of the provinces – the number of new cases is showing an upward trend, meaning that if this increase continues, there will be considerably more new cases in each week to come. One must keep in mind that this graph only shows the number of confirmed cases, so excludes everyone else who may have been infected but was not tested (so the actual number of cases is probably much higher).

      A more reliable indicator of the progress of the epidemic at this point might be the number of people who die of COVID-19.

“This fight is about us behaving differently to how we did before COVID19 ... We need to say, I will make sure that I am protecting others, by protecting myself too"

South Africa Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize

We can all have a positive impact on the rate of new infections by limiting the number of people we come into contact with daily and lowering the chance of transmission of the virus. Read "Distance, Dose, Dispersion: An experts’ guide on Covid-19 risks in South Africa and how to manage them

For myself this means working from home, “meeting” colleagues as well as friends only online, getting groceries delivered. When I go out to exercise, I wear a face mask, keep at least 1.5 metre distance from other people and wash my hands afterwards.