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Yesterday — May 13th 2021Your RSS feeds

These graphs show South Africa’s third wave is coming

May 13th 2021 at 10:08
South Africa is on the brink of a third wave of coronavirus infections, driven by a steady increase in new cases after a four-day holiday weekend that saw millions of people travel to see family and friends and attend religious gatherings.

Govt extends national state of disaster until 15 June

May 13th 2021 at 09:19

Cabinet has approved another extension of the national state of disaster on Covid-19 until 15 June 2021.

This follows a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday which discussed various issues, including the country’s Covid-19 response and vaccine rollout programme.

The current national state of disaster was meant to expire on 15 May 2021, after it was extended in April.

“The extension is in terms of Section 27(5)(c) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act 57 of 2002). The extension considers the need to continue augmenting the existing legislation and contingency arrangements undertaken by organs of state to mitigate against the impact of the disaster on lives and livelihoods,” Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday.

ALSO READ: NICD sounds alarm on rapid increase in Covid-19 cases

The extension of the national state of disaster comes amid a warning from Health Minister Zweli Mkhize about the rapid increase in new Covid-19 cases in South Africa.

There are fears that the country could be entering its third wave of infections as the winter season approaches, and with the general population yet to be vaccinated.

On Wednesday, new cases nationally increased by 2,759, pushing the total to 1,602,031 while 1,548 new cases were recorded on Tuesday.

Five provinces – Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West and Western Cape – are also showing sustained increases.

The Free State province is already in the grips of a third wave while the Northern Cape has experienced a significant resurgence in recent weeks.

READ NEXT: We have not hit third wave yet, says health dept after Mkhize’s SOS to provinces

NICD sounds alarm on rapid increase in Covid-19 cases

May 13th 2021 at 07:38

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Thursday said the recent rapid increase in the percentage of South Africans testing positive for Covid-19 was a cause for concern.

NICD acting executive director Professor Adrian Puren said the current trajectory in new coronavirus cases was worrisome and should they continue to climb South Africa would likely cross the threshold for a third wave in Covid infections in the coming weeks.

“If members of the public rapidly implement meticulous social distancing and adhere to non-pharmaceutical measures, transmission will decline and the third wave will be delayed”, Puren said in a statement.

“With the vaccination of elderly people scheduled to commence next week, delaying the third wave will provide more time to vaccinate those most at risk for severe disease and will thus save lives.”

ALSO READ: We have not hit third wave yet, says health dept after Mkhize’s SOS to provinces

This follows Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize’s warning this week that the country could be hit by a third wave in Covid-19 infections.

The minister also called on citizens to remain vigilant and adhere to health and safety protocols like social distancing, hand washing, sanitising and wearing face masks to ensure the country is not severely affected by the third wave.

On Wednesday, new cases nationally increased by 2,759, pushing the total to 1,602,031 while 1,548 new cases were recorded on Tuesday. The Free State province is already in the grips of a third wave while the Northern Cape has experienced a significant resurgence in recent weeks.

Five other provinces – Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West and Western Cape – are also showing sustained increases.

Western Cape experiencing resurgence

On Thursday, the Western Cape provincial government confirmed it was experiencing a resurgence in active Covid-19 cases.

However, provincial head of health Dr Keith Cloete said the province was not yet in the grip of a third wave.

“We have now officially gone into resurgence. It is not quite the start of a third wave but it’s the early most sustained sign that we have had increased cases. This is the time for us to collectively flatten that third wave as it is very real,” Cloete said, speaking at a Covid-19 briefing by the provincial government.

According to the NICD, data from the last reporting week (3-9 May 2021) showed an overall 46% new case increase in comparison to the previous reporting week (26 April to 2 May 2021), with the Northern Cape (68%), Gauteng (63%) and Limpopo (47%) provinces topping the list.

“Although there has not been an increase in hospital admissions, Covid-19 related deaths increased by 18% in comparison to the preceding week with the following provinces accounting for 81% of all reported fatalities: Eastern Cape and Western Cape (21% respectively), Gauteng (20%) and KwaZulu-Natal (19%),” the NICD said.

Nationally, South Africa has not met the threshold for a new wave in Covid-19 infections.

According to a Ministerial Advisory Committee Technical Working Group, a resurgence occurs when the seven-day moving average incidence exceeds 30% of the previous wave’s peak.

Across the country, the seven-day moving average peaked at 18,800 cases on 11 January 2021, equating to a new wave threshold seven-day moving average incidence of 5,600 cases a day. As of 12 May 2021 the national seven-day moving average incidence is 1,950 cases.

READ NEXT: Antibodies last eight months after Covid-19 infection

Resurgence in active Covid-19 cases not yet third wave – WC health

May 13th 2021 at 07:04

The Western Cape government on Thursday announced it was experiencing a resurgence in active Covid-19 cases, but said it was not yet in the grips of a third wave.

“We have now officially gone into resurgence. It is not quite the start of a third wave but it’s the early most sustained sign that we have had increased cases,” said Western Cape head of health Dr Keith Cloete. “This is the time for us to collectively flatten that third wave as it is very real.”

Cloete was speaking at a briefing by the provincial government on its Covid-19 response.

ALSO READ: We have not hit third wave yet, says health department after Mkhize’s SOS to provinces

Cloete said the rise in coronavirus cases was largely due to the relaxation by residents in observing Covid-19 regulations.

He cited large gatherings, parties, university residences and people travelling as some of the contributors to the rising cases.

According to Cloete, the current reproduction number of cases in the Western Cape stands at 1.2. The reproduction number is a key indicator of how fast Covid-19 cases are increasing or whether cases are decreasing.

A reproduction number below one indicates that cases are dropping while above one it shows that cases are beginning to increase.

“That means for every 10 positive active cases we have currently, we get 12 new cases. And that is why we have gone into resurgence,” Cloete said.

“The number of daily new Covid-19 cases is starting to rise and we are now seeing on average 170 new diagnoses a day. There has been a 39% increase week-on-week in this province.”

Cloete said hospital admissions and deaths were also increasing slightly at 17% and 8%, respectively.

We are seeing about 29 hospital admissions and four deaths each day.

Although Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said South Africa was not yet in a third wave of Covid-19 cases, he warned that the country was at risk and heightened vigilance was required.

On Wednesday, new cases nationally increased by 2,759, pushing the total to 1,602,031 while 1,548 new ones were recorded on Tuesday. The Free State, Gauteng and Northern Cape provinces recorded the majority of cases.

As of Wednesday, the Western Cape had 2,535 active Covid-19 infections, with a total of 288,951 people having been infected to date and 274,731 recoveries.

Premier Winde pleads with residents to adhere to protocols

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde appealed to residents to play their part by adhering to health and safety protocols like social distancing, hand washing, sanitising and wearing face masks.

“In our seven-day rolling average, we are now at more than a 20% increase. That means we are in resurgence. So, that’s the potential start of a third wave,” Winde said.

“It’s in our hands as citizens of this province as to whether it gets fully fleshed into a third wave or we manage this resurgence and keep these numbers at bay because it is a big race against time now. We need to get people registered and vaccinated as well as managing this surge so that we get that balance right.”

Winde also encouraged citizens who are 60years and older to register for the second phase of the government’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.

“You will not be able to be on the system if you are not registered. I’m calling on everyone in the Western Cape to help us and get our fellow citizens registered. We need to get our registration numbers up. So far, we are sitting at 202,849 registered so there are a number of people out there who are not on the system,” he said.

READ NEXT: Severity of third Covid-19 wave will come down to ‘timing’

Before yesterdayYour RSS feeds

#SOSColombia: Remember Sharpeville?

May 11th 2021 at 14:51

The Colombian government’s violent repression of political dissent is dangerous

The post #SOSColombia: Remember Sharpeville? appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

New Covid-19 variant in South Africa ‘of concern at a global level’ — WHO

May 11th 2021 at 09:41

The Covid-19 B.1.617 variant, first detected in India, is now listed as one of concern, but the World Health Organisation says it does not doubt the efficacy of global vaccines

The post New Covid-19 variant in South Africa ‘of concern at a global level’ — WHO appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

Travel ban could return after more Covid-19 variants are found in South Africa

May 11th 2021 at 05:30
Airport aerial shot (Delwyn Verasamy)

The government is to decide whether travel restrictions will be implemented after variants originally from India and the UK were detected in South Africa.

The post Travel ban could return after more Covid-19 variants are found in South Africa appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

Daily Covid-19 update: 1,778 new cases identified in SA

May 9th 2021 at 17:29

As of Sunday, 9 May, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,596,595 with 1,778 new cases identified, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

11 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 1 from Eastern Cape, 1 from Free State, 8 from Gauteng, 1 from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), 0 from Limpopo, 0 from Mpumalanga, 0 from North West, 0 from Northern Cape and 0 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 54,735.

ALSO READ: Indian virus variant is in SA – What is it and what now?

Recoveries now stand at 1,516,256 representing a recovery rate of 95%.

A total of 10,887,709 tests have been completed with 26,098 new tests conducted since the last report.

Meanwhile, the total number of vaccines that have been administered stands at 382,480.

As of today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases is 1 596 595 the total number of deaths is 54 735 the total number of recoveries is 1 516 256 and the total number of vaccines administered is 382 480. pic.twitter.com/71YYsmuU8Z

— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) May 9, 2021

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

India’s rocketing records

India reports a record new Covid-19 daily death toll of over 4,000 and more than 400,000 new cases as the country grapples with the world’s worst coronavirus surge.

Members of the opposition call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order a national lockdown as the country’s official death toll to date hits 238,270.

‘No doubt’ US undercounting deaths

The United States, which has reported the world’s worst overall Covid-19 death toll, has “no doubt” been undercounting fatal cases, top pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci says.

The country has officially lost over 581,000 people to the disease but a University of Washington study estimates deaths at more than 900,000.

EU still to renew AZ vaccine order

The European Union has not yet renewed its contract for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines with AstraZeneca beyond June and is not certain it will, the bloc’s internal market commissioner Thierry Breton says, a day after a new contract with Pfizer is announced.

The EU last month launched legal action against the pharmaceutical giant for vaccine delivery shortfalls, while public confidence in it in the bloc has taken a blow over worries of links to very rare blood clots in the brain.

Party-time in Spain

Spain lifts a state of emergency in place since October, allowing Spaniards to travel between regions for the first time in months.

“It’s like New Year’s,” says 28-year-old Oriol Corbella in Barcelona, where the lifting of the curfew was met with shouts, applause and music.

Freedom for fully vaccinated Germans

People fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are now exempt from many restrictions in Germany after the government passed new legislation to restore some freedoms.

Curfews and limits on social contacts no longer apply to the more than seven million people who have both jabs.

They will also no longer have to present a negative test result to access certain services such as hairdressers and “click and meet” shopping appointments.

France ‘playing politics’ with virus?

A group of 20 doctors and researchers accuse the French government of playing politics rather than following the science as it begins to ease partial lockdown measures.

They have called for the authorities to focus on the health issues at a time when the statistics for infections, deaths and hospitalisations are still high across the country.

Jabs with Dracula

Visitors to Romania’s forbidding Bran Castle, the inspiration for the lair of Dracula, are being jabbed with needles rather than vampire fangs this weekend in a coronavirus vaccination drive.

The government has turned to local vaccination drives and 24-hour “marathons” at such major venues to immunise as many citizens as possible.

First Laos death

A Vietnamese woman is Communist Laos’s first Covid fatality. The reclusive, landlocked country had appeared to escape the brunt of the pandemic in 2020, but a community outbreak uncovered last month has sent the number of cases soaring — from 49 in early April to 1,302 in less than a month.

Tunisia introduces more restrictions

Tunisia begins a week of coronavirus restrictions covering the Eid holiday.

Until next Sunday, mosques, markets and non-essential shops must close, gatherings and family or cultural celebrations are banned, and people are forbidden from travelling between regions

Almost 3.3 million fatalities

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 3,286,376 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1830 GMT on Sunday.

At least 157,653,764 cases of coronavirus have been registered.

The United States is the worst-affected country with an official toll of 581,516 deaths from 32,686,462 cases.

READ NEXT: Where is the Covid-19 third wave? Well, it’s probably closer than you think

‘No doubt’ US has undercounted Covid deaths – Fauci

May 9th 2021 at 13:09

The United States, which has reported the world’s worst overall Covid-19 death toll, has “no doubt” been undercounting fatal cases, top pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci said Sunday.

The country has officially lost over 581,000 people to the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus – but a University of Washington study released Thursday estimated deaths at more than 900,000.

“That’s a bit more than I would have thought the undercounting was,” Fauci told NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

“But I think there’s no doubt… that we are and have been undercounting.”

The United States has reported over 32.6 million cases since the virus was first identified at the end of 2019 in China.

America was battered by a spike in cases and deaths after the end-of-year holidays, but since January new infections have come down as vaccination rates have jumped.

“We are turning the corner. We have 58 percent of adult Americans with at least one shot, over 110 million Americans fully vaccinated,” White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeffrey Zients told CNN’s State of the Union.

 

 

 

President Joe Biden wants 70 percent of adults in the US to have received at least one shot of the Covid-19 vaccine by the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

But the rate peaked around April 10 and has been declining since then, with vaccine hold-outs slowing the race to population immunity.

Federal, state and local officials are partnering with pharmacies, restaurants, breweries, supermarkets and sports teams to come up with incentives to get people to get their shots.

In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy launched a “Shot and a Beer” program to encourage vaccination, while in West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced that the state will offer $100 savings bonds to residents aged 16 to 35 who get inoculated.

Young adults with mild COVID-19 symptoms ‘at risk of long-term heart issues’

May 8th 2021 at 13:15

New research has shown some young adults who had COVID-19 – but were not hospitalised – were found to have increased heart issues after being infected, such as stiffness of arteries.

COVID-19 complications: Long-term heart issues

This condition could increase their risk of cardiovascular complications in later life. Dr Steve Ratchford, senior author on the paper, explains:

“These findings suggest a potential long-term impact of Covid-19 on young, relatively healthy adults who may otherwise think the virus may not be affecting them”.

Detrimental impact on arteries

Scientists at Appalachian State University found COVID-19 may have a detrimental impact on arteries in the body, including the carotid artery which supplies blood to the brain.

Young adults were tested 3-4 weeks after being infected with the virus, and an ultrasound was used to examine the carotid artery. Recordings of the participants’ heartbeats were measured for carotid stiffness and compared to a control group of healthy young adults.

The research was published in Experimental Physiology. Scientists will continue to monitor the participants for six months since they were first infected to see if their arterial health improves.

Medical breakthrough

Findings from the study have been hailed as important for healthy, young adults, but also for people who suffered more severe symptoms after being infected with the coronavirus.

Experts have called for further investigation into the issue of heart health, to include a more diverse population of COVID-19 patients such as those with pre-existing underlying health conditions.

Arterial stiffness is also an issue in infections including pneumonia, lupus, rheumatic fever and Kawasaki disease, with this continuing to be a problem after initial symptoms have settled.

Common signs and symptoms that linger over time include, fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, joint pain, chest pain, memory and concentration issues, sleep problems, muscle pain, pounding heartbeat, loss of smell or taste, depression or anxiety, fever, and dizziness when you stand.

Now read: Free State officially in third wave, Gauteng to follow

Organ damage caused by COVID-19

According to Mayo Clinic, COVID-19 damages other organs as well, even though it primarily affects the lungs. Damage to organs such as the heart, lungs and brain may also increase other long-term health issues.

Researchers confirmed that “imaging tests taken months after recovery from COVID-19 have shown lasting damage to the heart muscle, even in people who experienced only mild COVID-19 symptoms”.

This, in turn, may increase the risk of heart failure or other heart complications in the future. Furthermore, pneumonia associated with the coronavirus could cause long-term damage to the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs.

COVID-19 may also cause strokes, seizures and Guillain-Barre syndrome — a condition that causes temporary paralysis – even in young people. Lastly, Mayo Clinic says it may also increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Additional reporting by Cover Media

Daily Covid-19 update: India variant has been now detected in SA

May 8th 2021 at 15:49

Positive cases of the B.1.617 Covid-19 variant, circulating widely in India, have been confirmed in South Africa, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday evening.

The minister said the detection of new variants was inevitable as the pandemic progresses.

“The Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) confirmed today that two variants of concern other than the B.1.351 [ known as 501Y.V1] already dominating in South Africa have been detected,” he said.

UPDATE: Indian virus variant is in SA – What is it and what now?

Eleven cases of the B.1.1.7 – first detected in the UK – and four cases of the B.1.617.2 – first detected in India – were confirmed.

This means South Africa now has three variants circulating.

“In addition the B.1.351 has been sequenced from a patient traveling from Bangladesh. The four cases of B.1.617.2 have been detected in Gauteng (two) and KwaZulu-Natal (two) and all have a history of recent arrival from India.

ALSO READ: Where is the Covid-19 third wave? Well, it’s probably closer than you think

“All cases have been isolated and managed according to national Covid-19 case management guidelines and contact tracing has been performed in order to limit the spread of this variant.

“Of the eleven cases of B.1.1.7, eight were detected in the Western Cape (with two having a history of travel from Bahrain), while one was detected in KZN and two were detected in Gauteng

“The B.1.1.7 has been detected in community samples and this therefore suggests that community transmission of B.1.1.7 has already set in,” Mkhize said.

As of today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases is 1 594 817 the total number of deaths is 54 724 the total number of recoveries is 1 514 088 and the total number of vaccines administered is 382 480. pic.twitter.com/Wmw8JTqGdm

— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) May 8, 2021

“The work of genomic surveillance assists us to detect the variants and understand their behaviour and to refine vaccines so they remain effective. NGS-SA remains vigilant as it continues to support the Department of Health.

READ MORE: If government says don’t panic about Covid-19 – please do

“There are a number of other samples from cases with a history of recent travel into South Africa that are currently being sequenced and results are expected over the next few days. It is important to emphasise that variants can develop at anytime in any country so they do not have to be imported,” he added.

Mkhize continued to say that there was “no need to panic”.

“We are all deeply concerned about the threat of variants of concern and the reports demonstrate that the issue is complicated. Travel restrictions will need be balanced against the scientific realities in order to protect the economy. These findings are urgently being processed by government and announcements pertaining to travel regulations will be made after all appropriate consultations have been undertaken by Cabinet.”

Covid stats update

As of Saturday, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,594,817 with 2,256 new cases identified.

37 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 0 from Eastern Cape, 2 from Free State, 21 from Gauteng, 7 from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), 0 from Limpopo, 0 from Mpumalanga, 0 from North West, 7 from Northern Cape and 0 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 54,724.

ALSO READ: 4,500 beds available in Gauteng hospitals for Covid-19 wave

Recoveries now stand at 1,514,088 representing a recovery rate of 95%.

A total of 10,861,611 tests have been completed with 29,873 new tests conducted since the last report.

Meanwhile, the total number of vaccines that have been administered stands at 382,480.

India is being pulverised by a second Covid-19 wave

April 28th 2021 at 03:57
By: Eyaaz

Oxygen, hospital bed and medication shortages have left thousands dead. But the ruling party lets millions gather at religious festivals and remains on the campaign trail

The post India is being pulverised by a second Covid-19 wave appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

Government to give go-ahead for Johnson and Johnson vaccine – Report

April 18th 2021 at 04:59
Government plans to resume the vaccination of healthcare workers with the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from Wednesday.

Vaccine giant tweets Biden to end US raw materials ’embargo’

April 17th 2021 at 13:33

 

The head of the world’s largest vaccine maker directly tweeted US President Joe Biden on Friday urging him to lift an export ban on raw materials desperately needed to make more coronavirus shots.

The unusual step by Serum Institute (SII) chief Adar Poonawalla underlined the crisis in providing vaccines to developing nations, many of which rely heavily on the firm for supplies.

“Respected @POTUS, if we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the U.S. so that vaccine production can ramp up,” he tweeted.

There was no immediate response from the US leader on Twitter.

The world’s biggest vaccine producer by volume, SII has struggled to meet demand for the AstraZeneca jab, which it manufactures, after India put the brakes on allowing exports of the shots as it battles a ferocious second wave.

Poonawalla said last week that production was “very stressed” and called on the Indian government to provide it with financial assistance.

The company’s production of a jab developed by US firm Novavax has also hit roadblocks due to the US restrictions, with Poonawalla telling an Indian newspaper last week that the embargo was “as good as banning vaccines”.

Developed in record time, the dozen or so Covid-19 vaccines already in use around the world have already triggered an exponential increase in production, meaning raw materials are now running short.

SII, which struck a deal to supply 200 million doses to Covax, a World Health Organization-backed effort to procure and distribute inoculations to poor countries, has seen its profile soar since the pandemic, with rich nations also clamouring to buy its jab.

But the Covax programme has been hampered by wealthy nations hogging the supply, with the WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday criticising the “shocking and expanding disparity in the global distribution of vaccines”.

The company recorded annual revenues of more than $800 million in 2019-20, but the export ban has prompted it to ask India’s government for financial help since New Delhi pays it less per shot than it earns from overseas sales.

New Delhi on Friday announced that it would provide financial support to Indian vaccine developer Bharat Biotech, so it could scale up its production of the home-grown Covaxin jab.

The government said it aimed to increase production capacity to nearly 100 million doses a month by September.

India, which has recorded over 14 million infections since the start of the pandemic, began vaccinating people aged over 45 this month, aiming to inoculate 300 million people by August. So far it has administered around 117 million shots.

Paddy Harper’s on the Rastazenica vaccine

April 16th 2021 at 15:02

Thursday. It’s Day 385 of the Covid-19 lockdown. Like most of my fellow South Africans, I’m wondering when, if ever, it will be my turn to get vaccinated. There’s no real answer coming from President Cyril Ramaphosa — or Health Minister Zweli Mkhize — at this stage. Lots of ifs, buts and maybes. There are […]

The post Paddy Harper’s on the Rastazenica vaccine appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

New AI system shows low risk of a third wave in South Africa in next two weeks

April 12th 2021 at 07:25
An Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based algorithm developed by the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) has shown there is a low risk of a third wave of COVID-19 infections across South Africa in the next two weeks.

Sindi van Zyl, the doctor who never stopped caring

April 12th 2021 at 05:36

South Africa lost one of its most prominent HIV doctors this weekend to Covid-related complications. Dr Sindi will be remembered for her ability to make HIV and reproductive health knowledge accessible to her hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers.

The post Sindi van Zyl, the doctor who never stopped caring appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

Daily Covid-19 update: 931 new cases, 66 more deaths confirmed

April 11th 2021 at 16:34

 

As of Sunday, 11 April 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,558,458 with 931 new cases identified, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

66 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 0 from Eastern Cape, 15 from Free State, 6 from Gauteng, 0 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 0 from Limpopo, 0 from Mpumalanga, 35 from North West, 0 from Northern Cape and 10 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 53,322.

ALSO READ: SA’s newly detected Covid-19 variants aren’t major cause for concern

Recoveries now stand at 1,483,296 representing a recovery rate of 95%. 

A total of 10,136,936 tests have been completed with 23,013 new tests conducted since the last report.

No vaccines seem to have been administered as of Sunday.

As of today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases is 1 558 458 the total number of deaths is 53 322 the total number of recoveries is 1 483 296. pic.twitter.com/zafxTPjkJA

— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) April 11, 2021

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

England to open for business

Non-essential businesses such as hairdressers, beer gardens and gyms will reopen in England on Monday for the first time since January.

The United Kingdom, the European country with the most Covid deaths, has seen its situation greatly improve thanks to a successful vaccination campaign.

France jabs open to over 55s

France, which had a slow start to its inoculation rollout, will make vaccinations with the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs available to all citizens over the age of 55 from Monday.

Antoine Flahault, an epidemiologist from the University of Geneva, warned that vaccinations alone are not enough to beat back France’s stubbornly high infections numbers.

“Stopping adult activities is important, but another major breeding ground is schools,” he said, calling for schools to stay closed after April 26, their current date to reopen.

New curbs in Thailand

Almost 40 Thai provinces have brought in entry restrictions and quarantine requirements for people travelling from Bangkok and other coronavirus hotspots ahead of a holiday travel period, as the capital grapples with soaring infections.

India bans remdesivir exports

India bans the export of remdesivir as infections soar to a new daily high and hospitals grapple with increasing demand for the coronavirus treatment drug.

The vast nation has experienced a sharp rise in cases in recent weeks, adding 152,000 new cases on Sunday to take the toll to 13.3 million infections.

Libya launches campaign

Libya officially launches its coronavirus vaccination campaign, starting with Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah.

The north African country has so far received 200,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, alongside over 57,600 AstraZeneca shots, the latter delivered through the Covax programme.

2.9 million dead

At least 2,929,563 people have died of Covid-19 around the world since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1000 GMT on Sunday.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 561,783 deaths, followed by Brazil with 351,334, Mexico with 209,212, India with 169,275 and Britain with 127,080.

Q&A Sessions: Marcia Mayaba —Driven to open doors for women

April 11th 2021 at 15:00

Marcia Mayaba has been in the motor industry for 24 years, donning hats that include receptionist, driver, fuel attendant, dealer principal and now chief executive at Barloworld Motor Retail. She talks to Tshegofatso Mathe about her love of cars, the changes she is making in a competitive industry — and why her nervous breakdown was ‘necessary’ […]

The post Q&A Sessions: Marcia Mayaba —Driven to open doors for women appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.

Daily Covid-19 update: 1,285 new cases as four provinces record zero deaths

April 10th 2021 at 15:55

 

As of Saturday, 10 April 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,557,527 with 1,285 new cases identified, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

30 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 1 from Eastern Cape, 5 from Free State, 11 from Gauteng, 5 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 0 from Limpopo, 8 from Mpumalanga, 0 from North West, 0 from Northern Cape and 0 from Western Cape.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 53,256.

ALSO READ: SA’s newly detected Covid-19 variants aren’t major cause for concern

Recoveries now stand at 1,482,682 representing a recovery rate of 95%. 

A total of 10,115,994 tests have been completed with 29,464 new tests conducted since the last report.

Meanwhile, the total number of vaccines that have been administered stands at 288,406.

As of today the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases for South Africa is 1 557 527. Today, 30 deaths have been reported which brings the total to 53 256 deaths. Our cumulative recoveries today stand at 1 482 682, representing a recovery rate of 95%. pic.twitter.com/itPUqTvmDo

— Department of Health (@HealthZA) April 10, 2021

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

Coronavirus funeral for Philip

Much of the planning for the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip, who died Friday aged 99, must be adapted to avoid the gathering of large crowds, because of strict coronavirus restrictions and social distancing guidelines.

While the date of the ceremony has yet to be announced, the royal family asks people not to gather at royal residences like Buckingham Palace and Windsor because of Covid restrictions and opens an online book of condolences rather than conventional public tributes.

‘No link’ of J&J vaccine to clots

Top US health authority the Food and Drug Administration says it has not yet found a “causal” link between Johnson & Johnson’s Covid shot and blood clots.

The European Medicines Agency has launched a review of the jab after reports of four cases of blood clots, one of them fatal.

Maharashtra lockdown…

India’s coronavirus epicentre Maharashtra with state capital Mumbai enters a weekend lockdown, as the country battles exploding infection numbers and shortages of vaccines, drugs and hospital beds.

Although the central government is desperate to avoid wildly unpopular shutdowns, state governments have stepped into the breach, with Maharashtra shutting restaurants and banning public gatherings of more than five, while all 125 million inhabitants are confined at home at weekends with few exceptions.

…and Bogota too

The eight million people of Colombian capital Bogota are under strict lockdown to slow a third wave of the epidemic, with mayor Claudia Lopez saying “only strictly essential activities will be allowed”.

The measures are in addition to night curfews that cover seven million people in the cities of Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and Santa Marta, where the health system is overwhelmed by the virus.

At more than 2.4 million, Colombia has the second most cases in Latin America after Brazil.

Cambodia threatens to jail rule-breakers

Cambodia’s strongman premier Hun Sen threatens quarantine-breakers with jail time and warns civil servants they could lose their jobs if they go unvaccinated.

Grappling with a rising caseload, Cambodia has banned travel between provinces, imposed a night-time curfew and made face masks mandatory in the capital Phnom Penh and shut down popular tourism sites including the famed Angkor Wat archaeological park.

2.9 million dead

At least 2,917,316 people have died of Covid-19 around the world since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1000 GMT on Saturday.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 561,074 deaths, followed by Brazil with 348,718, Mexico with 207,020, India with 168,436 and Britain with 127,040.

Diving World Cup pushed back

Organisers announce the Diving World Cup, which serves as an Olympic qualifier and test event, will be held in Tokyo around two weeks later than planned, on May 1-6.

But the Olympic marathon swim qualifier, originally planned for next month in Japan’s Fukuoka, will be moved to Setubal in Portugal faced with tough Japanese border restrictions.

By Citizen reporter & AFP

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Five KZN campuses closed after prospective students ‘invade’

April 7th 2021 at 09:52
The cause of death and the events leading up to the student’s death remain unclear.

The Durban University of Technology (DUT) on Wednesday closed its five KwaZulu-Natal campuses until further notice after scores of prospective students descended on its main campus a day earlier in the hopes of being accepted to study.   DUT said that a “significant number” of prospective students had gathered at the Steve Biko Sports Centre overnight […]

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Daily Covid-19 update: 463 new cases identified, no deaths in these provinces

April 4th 2021 at 15:15

As of Sunday, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1 551 964, with 463 new cases identified, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.

33 more Covid-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 0, Free State 2, Gauteng 2, Kwa-Zulu Natal 10, Limpopo 0, Mpumalanga 0, North West, 18, Northern Cape 0 and Western Cape 1.

This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 52 987.

Recoveries now stand at 1 477 363, with a 95% recovery rate.

A total of 9 968 203 tests have been completed, with 12 117 tests conducted since the last report.

Meanwhile, the total number of vaccines that have been administered remains at 269 102.

As of today, the total number of confirmed #COVID19 cases is 1 551 964 the total number of deaths is 52 987 the total number of recoveries is 1 477 363 and the total number of vaccines administered is 269 102. pic.twitter.com/ODK2knsfxb

— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) April 4, 2021

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Editorial: Keeping the faith — in people

April 1st 2021 at 15:00

We are exhausted, scared, hurt, overwhelmed, heartsore, sick and disillusioned. But in this past year people have helped each other.
So many of us are still here thanks to the kindness of others.

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Special COVID-19 lockdown rules for Easter in South Africa

March 30th 2021 at 14:31
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced changes to South Africa's COVID-19 alert level 1 lockdown measures in preparation for the Easter period.

These graphs show how COVID-19 lockdown hammered South African tourism

March 29th 2021 at 06:39
South Africa’s hard lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus came into force a year ago, upending lives and businesses across the continent’s most industrialized economy. Yet few industries suffered more than tourism.

Government could ban alcohol but allow gatherings of 5,000 people for Easter weekend – Report

March 28th 2021 at 01:22
The South African government is considering greatly increasing limits on gatherings of people while reintroducing an alcohol ban for the incoming Easter weekend as part of revised temporary COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Lockdown chomps chicken profits

March 26th 2021 at 15:00
By: Eyaaz

Tightened belts meant South Africans ate 19% less chicken last year, and local farmers say dumped imports and the hard lockdown have hurt their businesses

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These 13 people spread most false vaccine information on social media – Report

March 25th 2021 at 05:38
A new report has claimed that the vast majority of anti-vaccine information found on social media originated from just 13 people.

New Covid-19 grant, old Sassa problems

March 23rd 2021 at 06:14
By: Eyaaz

A sharp increase in the number of social grant recipients after the introduction of the special grant during the pandemic has exacerbated the strained grant payment system

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Second-chance matriculants need support

March 10th 2021 at 09:00

There is a programme for people to rewrite their national certificate outside of the school system, but they aren’t monitored and they need a study material portal, free data and academic support

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What South Africa’s universities have learnt about the future from Covid-19

March 1st 2021 at 14:00

South African tertiary institutions had to move to emergency remote learning with little warning last year. But experts say a blended learning model will become the new normal for education

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Pandemic punishes the young

February 12th 2021 at 14:00
By: Eyaaz

Children are displaying unusual behaviour as a consequence of the Covid-19 clampdown

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EFF rubbishes home affairs’ ports of entry report

February 9th 2021 at 11:44
By: Eyaaz

Minister says they need to deploy more health workers on the border, as ports are set to open next week.
EFF says there is no concrete action on the “mediocre” plan

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Government must find alternatives to AstraZeneca vaccine, say unions

February 9th 2021 at 05:55
By: Eyaaz

Unions representing healthcare workers advise members to get vaccinated despite AstraZeneca postponement

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Watch it again: Ramaphosa addresses the nation

February 1st 2021 at 12:50

The president will outline the latest developments in relation to the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic

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Bill Gates, Big Pharma and entrenching the vaccine apartheid

January 30th 2021 at 14:00

Waiving intellectual property restrictions on Covid-19 vaccines could help the developing world. But India and South Africa’s pleas are falling on deaf ears

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Africa can have an inclusive, cohesive and sustainable recovery from Covid

January 26th 2021 at 03:00

Four main measures — building the African Continental Free Trade Area, reducing macroeconomic vulnerability to debt, seizing digital economy opportunities and ensuring a just transition to a zero carbon economy — will enable this.

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