COVID-19 WRAP | SA daily Covid-19 infections exceed 3,000 & over 56,000 children in SA tested positive for Covid-19

20 November 2020 - 07:29 By TimesLIVE
A shopper walks past a Santa Claus effigy wearing a face mask due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at a Home Depot store in Wilmington, Delaware U.S. November 19 2020.
A shopper walks past a Santa Claus effigy wearing a face mask due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at a Home Depot store in Wilmington, Delaware U.S. November 19 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Mark Makela

November 20 2020 - 20:18

SA daily Covid-19 infections exceed 3,000 raising a red flag

SA breached the 3,000 mark for new Covid-19 infections over 24 hours on Friday — raising concerns for health minister Zweli Mkhize.

November 20 2020 - 19:12

Covid-19: 55% of deaths occur within a week of diagnosis or admission in Gauteng

In the past seven days 1,314 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Gauteng, raising the total number of confirmed cases in the province to 232,388.

There are now 2,195 actives cases of the virus, a jump from the 1,384 active cases reported last week, according to an update from the provincial command council on Friday.

Johannesburg is still the leading district for infections and deaths — recorded active cases are 884. Johannesburg's reported deaths are now 1,919 out of a total of 4,598 deaths reported in Gauteng.

November 20 2020 - 16:14

Proteas rocked by second positive Covid-19 test

The Proteas have been rocked by another positive Covid-19 test‚ the second one in the team after the second mandatory round of Covid-19 tests.

The player‚ who has not been named because of doctor/patient confidentiality‚ tested positive on Thursday and has been separated from the team. The team’s medical and support staff will monitor the player to ensure his physical health and mental well-being.

The positive test has led to the cancellation of the inter-squad practice match that was scheduled for Saturday.

November 20 2020 - 15:14

Don't use Gilead's remdesivir in hospitalised Covid-19 patients, WHO says

Gilead's remdesivir should not be used for patients hospitalised with Covid-19, regardless of how ill they are, as there is no evidence the drug improves survival or reduces the need for ventilation, a World Health Organisation panel said on Friday.

"The ... panel found a lack of evidence that remdesivir improved outcomes that matter to patients," the guideline said.

"Especially given the costs and resource implications associated with remdesivir ... the panel felt the responsibility should be on demonstrating evidence of efficacy, which is not established by the currently available data," it added.


November 20 2020 - 15:02

Pfizer to submit US emergency use application for Covid-19 vaccine

Pfizer Inc said it will apply to US health regulators on Friday for emergency use authorisation (EUA) of its Covid-19 vaccine, the first such application in a major step toward providing protection against the new coronavirus.

The application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comes just days after Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE reported final trial results that showed the vaccine was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 with no major safety concerns.

Pfizer's shares rose 2% and BioNTech climbed 5% on the news that a vaccine could soon be available, raising hopes for the end of a pandemic that has claimed more than a quarter of a million lives in the US and over 1.3 million worldwide.


November 20 2020 - 12:00

'I'd not been feeling well since Monday' - Fikile Mbalula tests negative for Covid-19 after health scare

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has tested negative for Covid-19 after a health scare this week.

Taking to Twitter, Mbalula said he got tested for the coronavirus after feeling unwell since Monday.

"[I] was not feeling well since Monday. Did my Covid-19 [test and the] results came back negative,” he said.

November 20 2020 - 11:10

WATCH | Covid-19 home testing kit expected in early 2021

A rapid Covid-19 home testing kit has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) federal agency in the US and may be available for use early in 2021.

"While Covid-19 diagnostic tests have been authorised for at-home collection, this is the first that can be fully self-administered and provide results at home," said FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn.

November 20 2020 - 10:33

More than 56,000 children in SA tested positive for Covid-19 since March

More than 56,000 South African children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the outbreak in March this year.

Quoting the National Institute for Communicable Diseases' statistics in its latest report on the affect of Covid-19 on children in SA, the UN Children's Fund (Unicef) said on World Children's Day on Friday that children made up 8% of the more than 750,000 confirmed cases in SA.

Most of the 56,434 children were adolescent girls.

November 20 2020 - 10:21

Russia reports record high 24,318 new coronavirus infections

Russia reported a record high of 24,318 new coronavirus infections on Friday, including 6,902 in the capital Moscow, bringing the national tally to 2,039,926.

Authorities also reported 461 coronavirus-related deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 35,311.


November 20 2020 - 08:47

EU could pay over $10 billion for Pfizer and CureVac vaccines - source

The European Union could pay more than $10 billion to secure hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine candidates being developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and CureVac, an EU official involved in the talks told Reuters.

The bloc has agreed to pay 15.50 euros ($18.34) per dose for the COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, according to the official.

That would mean an overall price of up to 3.1 billion euros ($3.7 billion) for 200 million doses, rising to 4.65 billion euros if another optional 100 million doses are purchased under the deal, the official said.

The pricing information, previously undisclosed, confirms the EU is paying less per dose than the United States for an initial supply of that vaccine, as reported by Reuters last week.


November 20 2020 - 07:30

South Australia says man's 'lie' caused coronavirus lockdown 

South Australia's drastic six-day coronavirus lockdown was triggered by a "lie" to contact tracers from a man who tested positive and restrictions across the state are set to be lifted much sooner than first planned, authorities said on Friday.

The shock announcement came just two days after the state government ordered people to stay at home and shut many businesses to combat what was considered a highly contagious outbreak of coronavirus.

South Australia state Premier Steven Marshall told a media conference in Adelaide that one man at a pizza bar tied to the outbreak told contact tracers he had only bought a pizza there, when he had actually worked several shifts at the food outlet alongside another worker who tested positive.

Authorities assumed the man, who wasn't named, had caught the virus during a very short exposure, leading them to believe the strain must be highly contagious.

"Their (the man's) story didn't add up. We pursued them. We now know that they lied," Marshall told reporters. "Had this person been truthful to the contact tracing teams, we would not have gone into a six-day lockdown."

"To say I am fuming about the actions of this individual is an absolute understatement. This selfish actions of this individual have put our whole state in a very difficult situation."


November 20 2020 - 06:00

Bruising lessons for health workers caught in global Covid-19 pandemic

Health workers have dealt with multiple blows since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic which exposed major loopholes in many health systems across the globe.

Overcrowding in health facilities, long hours, lack of personal protective equipment and getting infected with Covid-19 are some of the most common issues they grappled with.

More than 7,000 health workers have succumbed to the virus, according to an analysis by Amnesty International.