South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has announced more than 19,000 positive Covid tests that were unreported due to ‘IT challenges’.
The country confirmed 18,035 new cases of Covid in the past 24 hours, but the total was bumped up to more than 37,000 to account for the positive tests not previously reported.
‘Today we report 37,875 new cases, which includes 19,840 retrospective cases & 18,035 new cases,’ the NICD said in a statement today, before calling out public laboratories it said were to blame for the unreported tests.
‘For the NICD to report quality and comprehensive data, the institute relies on test reports from both private and public laboratories to generate daily COVID-19 statistics.
‘The NICD was informed in the previous week that information technology (IT) challenges had been experienced by public sector laboratories, which have resulted in reporting delays.’
The NICD also said there may be further revelations of unreported Covid cases in South Africa in the coming days due to data taking ‘longer to reflect’.
‘Some COVID-19 surveillance data may take longer to reflect on the national line list,’ the institute said.
‘We are committed to transparent reporting and will continue to update COVID-19 surveillance databases retrospectively as the impacted public laboratories remedy the existing IT difficulties.’
It comes as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa tested positive for the virus despite being fully vaccinated.
Ramaphosa, 69, started feeling unwell and a test confirmed COVID-19, a statement from the presidency announced earlier today.
He is self-isolating in Cape Town and is being monitored by the South African Military Health Service, having delegated all responsibilities to Deputy President David Mabuza for the next week.
The statement didn’t say whether he had been infected with the omicron coronavirus variant, but confirmed he was experiencing ‘mild’ symptoms and is being treated.
Ramaphosa said his own infection serves as a caution to all people in South Africa to be vaccinated and remain vigilant against exposure, a governmental statement said.