COVID-19 WRAP | 2,019 new coronavirus cases in SA

16 October 2020 - 06:22 By TimesLIVE
Grandmother Angelina Jimenez listens to speakers at a protest for parents, students, and educators outside Dorsey High School to urge LAUSD not to reopen schools without strong Covid-19 safety measures, during the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Los Angeles, California, US on October 15, 2020.
Grandmother Angelina Jimenez listens to speakers at a protest for parents, students, and educators outside Dorsey High School to urge LAUSD not to reopen schools without strong Covid-19 safety measures, during the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Los Angeles, California, US on October 15, 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

October 16 2020 - 21:00

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed the 2,019 new coronavirus cases. SA now has 700,203 total infections.

Mkhize also confirmed that 61 Covid-19 related deaths had been recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 18,370

October 16 2020 - 18:19

WHO trial to assess other antibody, antiviral drugs after remdesivir doubt

The World Health Organisation said on Friday it would assess monoclonal antibodies and other antiviral drugs in its trial of medicines that could potentially treat Covid-19, after the trial found Gilead's remdesivir had no impact on survival rates.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference the so-called Solidarity Trial would continue after it was launched in March in 500 hospitals in 30 countries to assess the efficacy of remdesivir and several other drugs in patients with Covid-19.

—Reuters

October 16 2020 - 18:06

Daily coronavirus cases surge above 10,000 in Italy for first time

 Italy has registered 10,010 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Friday, the highest daily tally since the start of the country's outbreak and up from the previous record of 8,804 posted on Thursday.

The ministry also reported 55 Covid-related deaths, down from 83 the day before and far fewer than at the height of the pandemic in Italy in March and April when a daily peak of more than 900 fatalities was reached.

The number of coronavirus sufferers in intensive care continued to rise, reaching 638 on Friday from 586 on Thursday and compared with a low of around 40 in the second half of July.

—Reuters

October 16 2020 - 17:03

Concern as Covid-19 infections surge in Joburg's Jewish community

Johannesburg's Jewish community has seen a surge in Covid-19 infections in the past few days, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies reported.

“We have received reports from Hatzolah of 31 new cases of Covid-19 infection from their records alone in the Johannesburg Jewish community,” Prof Barry Schoub, Dr Richard Friedland and Prof Efraim Kramer said in a joint statement.

“This is a significant increase over the previous week.”

October 16 2020 - 14:13

Britain moves closer to Covid-19 vaccine trials that infect volunteers

"Human challenge" trials of potential Covid-19 vaccines, where volunteers are deliberately infected with the disease, could become a reality after a British biotech firm signed a contract with the government to create and provide strains of the virus.

Preliminary work for the trials, which aim to speed up the process of determining the efficacy of a vaccine candidate, is being carried out by hVIVO, a unit of pharmaceutical services company Open Orphan, hVIVO said on Friday.

This involves creating a human challenge study model that could be used should such trials gain ethical and safety approval from regulators.

—Reuters

October 16 2020 - 12:25

Zweli Mkhize says it's time to refocus on other illnesses amid Covid-19 battle

While SA's Covid-19 recovery rate continues to rise, health minister Zweli Mkhize says it's time to refocus on other illnesses such as TB, HIV and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the era of Covid-19.

Mkhize, who was addressing a Masoyise Health Programme seminar on Thursday, said reprioritising other illnesses was very important during this period as SA emerges from the devastation caused by the pandemic.

To date, SA has 698,184 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 1,770 new cases identified in the latest reporting period and a total of 18,309 deaths.

October 16 2020 - 11:50

From jobs to the Covid-19 grant — five key takeaways from Ramaphosa's recovery plan

President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined the government's plan to boost the economy, create jobs and extend the Covid-19 relief grant in his economic recovery plan delivered to a joint sitting of parliament on Thursday.

This comes on the heels of a Stats SA report which revealed that SA shed 2.2 million jobs during the lockdown. It further revealed that the unemployment rate declined from 30.1% in the first quarter of 2020 to 23.3% in the second quarter because fewer people were actively look for work during the lockdown.

October 16 2020 - 11:49

'It's out of touch with reality' - Five reactions to Cyril Ramaphosa's economic recovery plan

Opposition parties and South Africans have reacted to President Cyril Ramaphosa's economic recovery plan tabled on Thursday in a joint sitting of the two houses of parliament.

The shared view is that there was nothing new in the address, except for an extension of the special Covid-19 grant which will be paid for a further three months.

Ramaphosa's response to unemployment drew the attention of politicians, who slammed the president for his failure to deliver on previous promises.

October 16 2020 - 11:14

'No one sleeps at a post office for fun': SA welcomes R350 Covid-19 grant extension

The R350 special Covid-19 grant is trending on Twitter after President Cyril Ramaphosa tabled his economic recovery plan on Thursday.

Ramaphosa’s plan is expected to ease the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

The president said the grant proved was a lifeline for millions of unemployed South Africans and their families who would have struggled without it. It will now be paid for a further three months.

October 16 2020 - 06:30

Where to get a fast Covid-19 test for international travel

Heading overseas and need to have a Covid-19 test done quickly?

Strictly speaking, our government regulations don't require SA residents to produce a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to leave the country.

That said, some international commercial airlines are requiring that passengers produce a certificate of a negative Covid-19 test that has been conducted within 72 hours (sometimes 96 hours) of departure.

The same may be required when arriving at any transit airport/country.

October 16 2020 - 06:29

Boity on Covid-19: ‘It feels like pre-lockdown 2020 was a different year'

While things are starting to normalise in the country, media personality-turned-rapper Boity Thulo has opened up about how “strange” the year has been.

With the country now on lockdown level 1,  many South Africans are trying to catch up with the year as most spent months being restricted at certain places such as grooves and restaurants.

October 16 2020 - 06:14

SA now has  628,301 Covid-19 recoveries 

With 1,770 new Covid-19 cases confirmed in the past 24 hours, SA was on the verge of becoming just the 11th country to surpass 700,000 infections.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize confirmed the new cases in a statement on Thursday night. SA now has 698,184 total infections.

Mkhize also confirmed that 158 Covid-19 related deaths had been recorded in the past 24 hours. Of these, eight were new deaths and the remaining 150 had only been validated in the 24 hours since the statistics were last released.

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