COVID-19 WRAP | 77 new Covid-19 deaths in SA as cases climb to 746,945 in SA

13 November 2020 - 06:22 By TimesLIVE
Christopher Peter, 32, a respiratory specialist is seen as medical professionals treat people infected with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, US, November 12, 2020.
Christopher Peter, 32, a respiratory specialist is seen as medical professionals treat people infected with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, US, November 12, 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare

November 13 2020 - 20:02

More than 2,200 cases of Covid-19 recorded in 24 hours

More than 2,200 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the past 24 hours.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize released the latest statistics on Friday evening, saying that 2,213 new cases had been reported, taking the national total of confirmed cases to 746,945.

November 13 2020 - 16:33

North Korean, Russian hackers target COVID-19 researchers -Microsoft

Hackers working for the Russian and North Korean governments have targeted more than half a dozen organizations involved in COVID-19 treatment and vaccine research around the globe, Microsoft said on Friday.

The software company said a Russian hacking group commonly nicknamed "Fancy Bear" - along with a pair of North Korean actors dubbed "Zinc" and "Cerium" by Microsoft - were implicated in recent attempts to break into the networks of seven pharmaceutical companies and vaccine researchers in Canada, France, India, South Korea, and the United States.

Microsoft said the majority of the targets were organizations that were in the process of testing COVID-19 vaccines. Most of the break-in attempts failed but an unspecified number succeeded, it added.

Few other details were provided by Microsoft. It declined to name the targeted organizations, say which ones had been hit by which actor, or provide a precise timeline or description of the attempted intrusions.

-REUTERS

November 13 2020 - 14:55

Drones light up Seoul sky with messages of hope amid Covid-19

More than 300 drones lit up the sky over Seoul on Friday in a show the government said was meant to give "comfort and hope" to residents enduring the coronavirus pandemic.

The devices lined up in synchronised light displays, forming multi-coloured images of people wearing masks, and spelling out slogans promoting the government's "Korean New Deal" programme to rebuild the economy.

"I hope this drone show serves as an opportunity to convey joy and hope for a moment to our people experiencing pandemic fatigue," Kim Sang-do, deputy minister for aviation policy, said in a statement.

—Reuters

November 13 2020 - 14:50

Indonesia to start mass Covid-19 vaccination this year

Indonesia has sought emergency authorisation to start a mass vaccination campaign by the end of the year to combat the coronavirus in the archipelago, the Southeast Asian nation's president said on Friday.

In an interview with Reuters, President Joko Widodo, commonly known as Jokowi, said plans were already advanced to distribute the vaccine across the entire country.

If approval is granted by the country's food and drug agency, known by its Indonesian acronym BPOM, it will mean Indonesia - with 270 million people, the world's fourth most populous country - will be among the first in the world to roll out a coronavirus vaccine.

—Reuters

November 13 2020 - 13:09

Sewage testing could protect schools, hospitals from Covid-19 outbreaks

Early in the pandemic, a few cities and countries around the world began testing sewage for evidence of the coronavirus, hoping to detect rising infections early.

Now some researchers are fine-tuning that strategy by moving upstream to test waste from single hospitals or other buildings, aiming to quickly pinpoint burgeoning Covid-19 outbreaks and stop them with testing and isolation.

While the virus primarily spreads through droplets expelled from the mouth and nose, it can also be shed via human waste.

—Reuters

November 13 2020 - 12:37

Vaccine alliance raises R31.2bn to buy Covid shots for poor nations

A facility set up by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the GAVI vaccine group has exceeded an interim target of raising more than $2 billion (R31.2bn) to buy and distribute Covid-19 shots for poorer countries, but said it still needs more.

The GAVI alliance said on Friday that the funds for an advance market commitment (AMC) will allow the COVAX facility to buy an initial one billion vaccine doses for 92 eligible countries which would not otherwise be able to afford them.

"We've seen sovereign and private donors from across the world dig deep and help meet this target," GAVI chief Seth Berkley told reporters, adding that there was an "urgent need" to also finance treatments and diagnostics.

—Reuters

November 13 2020 - 11:59

Russian Covid cases hit record as Moscow overnight closures begin

Russia reported a record 21,983 new coronavirus infections on Friday as Moscow prepared to close restaurants and bars overnight in an effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite a recent surge, Russian authorities have resisted imposing lockdown restrictions as they did earlier this year, stressing instead the importance of hygiene, social distancing and bringing in targeted measures in certain regions.

Moscow, which reported 5,974 new cases in the past 24 hours, has ordered bars, restaurants and nightclubs to close between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Friday until mid-January. Officials warned of raids and fines for establishments that do not comply.

—Reuters

November 13 2020 - 10:41

IN PICTURES | Covid-19 fashion in Mangaung as Ace Magashule crowd gathers

About 1,000 ANC members, some of them waving ANC flags, converged metres away from the cordoned off Bloemfontein magistrate's court precinct on Friday morning ahead of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule's appearance on corruption charges.

They sang "Ramaphosa must answer as to what Ace has done".

One group carried a placard which read "This case is politically motivated", while another carried one reading "Hands off Ace Magashule".

November 13 2020 - 09:36

Musk questions coronavirus tests, saying they gave opposite results on same day

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk questioned the accuracy of Covid-19 tests on Thursday after claiming that results showed he tested positive twice and then negative twice all on the same day.

"Something extremely bogus is going on. Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD," Musk said in a tweet, possibly referring to Becton Dickinson and Co's rapid antigen test.

Musk, who took rapid antigen tests on Thursday, said he was also awaiting results from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests from different labs.

—Reuters

November 13 2020 - 08:38

China finds coronavirus on packaging of Brazilian beef

The Chinese city of Wuhan said on Friday it had detected the novel coronavirus on the packaging of a batch of Brazilian beef, as it ramped up testing of frozen foods this week as part of a nationwide campaign.

The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a statement on its website it had found three positive samples on the outer packaging of frozen, boneless beef from Brazil.

The beef had entered the country at Qingdao port on August 7 and it reached Wuhan on August 17, where it remained in a cold storage facility until recently.

—Reuters

November 13 2020 - 08:32

South Korean firm to produce 150 mln doses a year of Russian Covid-19 vaccine — RDIF

Russia's sovereign wealth fund said on Friday it had signed a deal with South Korea's GL Rapha for the biotechnology firm to produce over 150 million doses per year of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

The South Korean firm is expected to begin production next month, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in a statement.

The doses, produced in South Korea, will be intended for global distribution, it said.

—Reuters

November 13 2020 - 06:00

A third of SA's doctors have suffered verbal or physical abuse during Covid-19 pandemic

More than 500 medical professionals took part in the survey conducted between October 22 and November 11. The participants related their experiences anonymously.

That's according to a survey conducted by medical defence body the Medical Protection Society (MPS), which represents 32,000 health-care professionals in SA.

More than 500 medical professionals took part in the survey conducted between October 22 and November 11. The participants related their experiences anonymously.

November 13 2020 - 06:00

Though the great outdoors has surged in popularity, green spaces are not shared equally among all

Being stared at, photographed in secret, and even having a bottle thrown at you – all because you went for a quiet walk through the British countryside.

These are just some of Maxwell Ayamba’s experiences while introducing black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people to rural beauty spots for the past 15 years, many of whom had never ventured beyond the cities they resided in.

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