COVID-19 WRAP | Government to make vaccine payment in mid-December: health department

04 December 2020 - 07:40 By TimesLIVE
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A man carries Coach bags at the Citadel Outlet mall, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease continues, in Commerce, California, US on December 3 2020.
A man carries Coach bags at the Citadel Outlet mall, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease continues, in Commerce, California, US on December 3 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

December 04 2020 - 22:16

Government to make vaccine payment in mid-December: health department

The government says it is on track to sign an agreement and make a payment for the Covid-19 vaccine by December 15.

The health department said the county remains a member state of the COVAX facility and still holds its strategic position as co-chair of the access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), of which COVAX is a major component.

In order to secure enough doses to vaccinate 10% of our population, we will be required to make a down payment of R327,118,080, of which the Solidarity Fund has generously agreed to make this initial contribution.  

December 04 2020 - 19:50

Motshekga estimates 10% 'dropped out' of school due to Covid-19

The basic education department estimates that at least 10% of SA pupils did not return to school after the hard Covid-19 lockdown.

But minister Angie Motshekga believes that while many “internal grades” — which accounts for all grades up to matric — didn't get a 100% return rate, this could be due to parents keeping their children at home with the intention to have them repeat their grades next year.

December 04 2020 - 17:12

SIU received 20 complaints relating to health sector corruption

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it has dealt with 20 allegations of serious maladministration, fraud and corruption relating to the heath sector.

The Health Sector Anti-Corruption Forum (HSACF), which received the complaints, said 13 of the allegations have been assessed and formally converted into investigations.

“In addition, four allegations of maladministration, fraud and corruption in the public health sector have been assessed by the forum and the SIU has submitted motivations for proclamations in respect of these matters to the presidency for their approval. 

December 04 2020 - 16:23

Western Cape has biggest one-day leap in active Covid-19 cases

The Western Cape experienced its biggest one-day leap in active Covid-19 cases on Friday.

The number of active cases (total reported infections minus recoveries and deaths) increased by 1,712, from 10,706 on Thursday to 12,418.

While the numerical increase was the biggest since the provincial outbreak began on March 10, the daily percentage increase (15.99%) was larger on April 21, when active cases grew from 832 to 968 (16.35%).

December 04 2020 - 15:50

We did not miss Covid-19 vaccine payment deadline: Tito Mboweni

Finance minister Tito Mboweni says SA has not missed the deadline to pay the R500m required for it to be part of the COVAX global Covid-19 vaccine distribution scheme.

The facility would give SA early access to a batch of vaccines required to protect front-line health-care workers and the public from the deadly coronavirus.

Mboweni told parliament on Friday that government had until December 15 to make the payment required to join the vaccine scheme.

December 04 2020 - 13:24

Bill Gates hails three South African doctors as heroes

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has included South African professors Salim Abdool Karim and his wife Quarraisha on his heroes list for their role in the fight against HIV/Aids and Covid-19.

“Drawing on their experiences from HIV and TB, they are helping guide the Covid-19 response in South Africa and around the world. It is a shame that they haven’t been able to focus on HIV/Aids, but on the other hand, it is a reminder of how fighting old diseases like HIV helps the world prepare for new ones like Covid-19,” said Gates in his blog.

The couple are internationally renowned for their work at the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa).

December 04 2020 - 12:39

Covid-19 strikes again! Proteas vs England ODI the latest casualty

Covid-19 has struck again‚ but scalping an even bigger victim this time as the first one-day international (ODI) between South Africa and England that was supposed to take place at Newlands on Friday has been postponed.

The postponement came about after a Proteas player tested positive for Covid-19 after the teams’ last round of scheduled testing performed on Thursday ahead of the ODIs.

The positive test is the third one CSA have encountered in the bio-bubble after two players had tested positive at the start of tour.

December 04 2020 - 11:33

Covid-19: Summer fests scrapped as Buffalo City cracks down

The decision to ban outdoor events which attract thousands of revellers every year was taken by the local coronavirus command council in Buffalo City on Tuesday, metro authorities confirmed on Thursday.

December 04 2020 - 10:11

UK hopes for millions of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses this year

Britain hopes for millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year but the final figure will depend on how quickly it can be manufactured, Britain's business minister Alok Sharma said on Friday.

“We are starting initially with 800,000 and then let's see where we end up by the end of the year in terms of the numbers that we acquire. That will depend on the manufacturing,” Sharma said on Sky News.

“I hope we will have some millions by the end of this year but of course what we also always said is that the vast majority of this vaccination programme will take place in the new year.” 

December 04 2020 - 09:30

No 'after tears', yes to initiations: Five key points from Ramaphosa's Covid-19 'family meeting'

Nelson Mandela Bay has become the first metro in SA to be declared an official coronavirus hotspot.

This was announced on Thursday by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his televised address to the nation, where here introduced a 10pm curfew and a limit for alcohol sales to four days a week.

Ramaphosa also prohibited alcohol consumption in public spaces, such as beaches and parks, saying it was to prevent large social gatherings.

December 04 2020 - 09:28

'They don't need me now': Covid impact forcing Britons to food banks

British food banks are seeing more families needing their support as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic forces struggling people to seek help, charities and volunteers say.

Lockdowns and other measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus have forced businesses to close or lay off staff. The rise in those out of work has resulted in more people turning to food banks, which provide emergency food supplies to families in need.

"I was working part-time as a cleaner for evenings, and then when Covid started, we had to quit because everything was closed and our offices, they're not opening until 2021 because people can work from home," said Vilma Tunylaite, 40, queuing at a food bank in southwest London.

December 04 2020 - 08:55

Tighter lockdown rules for Nelson Mandela Bay gazetted

Co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has gazetted new regulations that will apply to Nelson Mandela Bay, which has been declared a Covid-19 hotspot.

This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address on Thursday night in which he introduced stricter lockdown rules for the area.

The government gazette, published on Thursday night, spells out additional rules pertaining to the sale of alcohol, gatherings and Covid-19 protocols in the city.

December 04 2020 - 07:55

'So it's the problem child?': Mzansi reacts to stricter lockdown in Nelson Mandela Bay

Social media was filled with memes and messages reacting to President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of stricter lockdown measures in Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape, on Thursday.

The city became the first to be declared a Covid-19 hotspot, after a resurgence of the virus in the area.

December 04 2020 - 07:36

'Enforce existing laws': DA slams more liquor restrictions and curfews

The DA opposes any further restrictions on liquor sales and extensions to the curfew, saying they  will only inflict further harm on SA's already ailing economy.

On Thursday, president Cyril Ramaphosa announced tighter localised restrictions, including further restrictions on the sale of alcohol, in Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“With effect from midnight tonight, the hours of the curfew will be 10pm to 4am. This means that, except for emergencies, no person may be outside their place of residency outside these times.

"The sale of alcohol from retail outlets will only be permitted between 10am and 6pm from Monday to Thursday.

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