COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 21,606 new cases in 24 hours

09 January 2021 - 10:28 By TimesLIVE
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Ellen Prosser, known as Nell, who is 100 years old, receives the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from Dr Nikki Kanani at the Sunrise Care Home, in Sidcup, Britain, on January 7 2021.
Ellen Prosser, known as Nell, who is 100 years old, receives the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from Dr Nikki Kanani at the Sunrise Care Home, in Sidcup, Britain, on January 7 2021.
Image: Kirsty O'Connor/Pool via REUTERS

January 9 2021 - 21:20

SA records 21,606 new cases in 24 hours

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced on Saturday that a total of 1,214,176 infection had been recorded, 21,606 of which were in the past day.

Fatalities stand at 32,824, an increase of 399 new deaths in the last 24 hours.

From the total number of infections, 956,712 people have recovered, while 224,640 active cases remain.

January 9 2021 - 15:54

Austria to roll out 5 million coronavirus tests for school pupils

Austrian schools will receive 5 million coronavirus testing kits from January 18, the government said on Saturday, as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus when pupils eventually return to the classroom.

Education minister Heinz Fassmann announced the delivery of the voluntary tests which pupils and teachers will be able to take at least once a week.

"Testing is the right answer to bridge the difficult months until the vaccine coverage is complete," Fassmann said.

Austria has ordered most of its schools to move to remote learning for pupils from January 7 to January 15. It is unclear when schools will reopen, Fassmann said, although he hoped this would be as soon as possible.

- Reuters

January 9 2021 - 15:16

President Cyril Ramaphosa hints at a possible 'family meeting' soon

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday hinted that he will address the nation soon as new cases of Covid-19 continue to soar despite stricter level 3 regulations announced late last year.

In an interview with Newzroom Afrika political editor Sbu Ngalwa on Saturday, Ramaphosa confirmed that he would address the nation soon on the next steps to be taken by his government.

For the past three days, new positive Covid-19 cases have been above 20,000 and deaths have also increased.

January 9 2021 - 13:11

India to start Covid-19 vaccination drive from January 16

India will start its Covid-19 vaccination drive from January 16 with priority given to about 30 million healthcare and frontline workers, a government statement said on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the preparedness for Covid-19 vaccination on Saturday, it said.

- Reuters

January 9 2021 - 12:33

French president's wife tested positive for Covid-19 in late December

The wife of French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for Covid-19 towards the end of December but resumed normal activities after a second test proved negative, French radios Europe 1 and France Info reported on Saturday.

Europe 1 said Brigitte Macron tested positive for Covid-19 on December 24. It said she presented no major symptoms and then had two further tests on December 30 and December 31 which proved negative.

President Macron himself tested positive for Covid-19 on December 17, and was in self-isolation until a subsequent test on December 24 showed he no longer had Covid symptoms.

- Reuters

January 9 2021 - 11:54

Iran bans foreign companies from testing Covid-19 vaccines on Iranians

Foreign companies will not be allowed to test Covid-19 vaccines on the Iranian people, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday, a day after Iran's Supreme Leader banned vaccine imports from the US and Britain.

"Foreign companies wanted to give us vaccines so they would be tested on the Iranian people. But the health ministry prevented it," Rouhani said in televised remarks, without naming the companies or giving further details.

"Our people will not be a testing device for vaccine manufacturing companies," he added. "We shall purchase safe foreign vaccines."

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's highest authority, said on Friday the US and Britain were "untrustworthy" and possibly sought to spread the infection to other countries.

Iran could obtain vaccines from other reliable places, he added, without giving details. China and Russia are both allies of Iran, the Middle East country hardest hit by the coronavirus.

- Reuters

January 9 2021 - 10:38

Russia reports 23,309 new coronavirus cases, 470 deaths

Russia on Saturday reported 23,309 new coronavirus cases over the previous 24 hours, including 4,900 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 3,379,103.

Authorities said 470 people had died, taking Russia's official death toll to 61,381.

- Reuters

January 9 2021 - 10:31

Hebei capital suspends public transport as China reports 33 new Covid-19 cases

Chinese authorities halted public transport in a provincial capital near Beijing on Saturday in an effort to stamp out a new cluster of coronavirus infections.

Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province surrounding Beijing, suspended service on the city's subway, then extended the ban to all public transport, including taxis. The province entered a "wartime mode" this week to battle the infections.

The National Health Commission reported 33 new Covid-19 cases for mainland China on January 8, down from 53 reported a day earlier. The authority said in a statement that 14 of the 17 locally transmitted infections were in Hebei.

Authorities on Thursday banned people from leaving Shijiazhuang. 

- Reuters

January 9 2021 - 10:13

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 24,694

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 24,694 to 1,891,581, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.

The reported death toll rose by 1,083 to 39,878, the tally showed.

- Reuters

January 9 2021 - 9:47

ICUs clogged on the way in, morgues on the way out in California's Covid crisis

Southern California is so overwhelmed with coronavirus cases that patients are backed up trying to get into hospitals, and corpses get stuck in another logjam once they leave.

At one hospital in Orange County, ambulances loaded with patients are lining up outside waiting for space in the intensive care unit, and Covid-19 patients fill the emergency room hallway.

January 9 2021 - 9:34

China to provide Covid-19 vaccines free of charge

China will provide Covid-19 vaccines free of charge once they become available to general public, government authorities said on Saturday.

National Health Commission official Zheng Zhongwei said that while manufacturing and transport of vaccines have costs, the government can provide vaccines for free to individuals.

"Our people don't have to pay a single cent for the vaccine," Zheng told a press event in Beijing.

China in late December approved its first vaccine for general public use. Three vaccines had already been given to limited groups at high risk of infection, including medical workers, through an emergency-use programme.

- Reuters

January 9 2021 - 9:17

Australia on high alert after overseas travellers bring new Covid-19 strains

Australia's health officials said on Saturday they are on high alert after cases of highly transmissible new variants of the coronavirus, discovered in Britain and South Africa, have made it into the country.

Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, on Saturday went into a three-day strict lockdown after the discovery of a virulent strain of the virus that causes Covid-19, linked to Britain. A variant that emerged in South Africa was found in Sydney, Australia's largest city, in a hotel quarantine.

Given the new variants, the government on Friday cut the number of travellers from overseas, and required negative Covid-19 tests from those boarding planes and more testing at local quarantine facilities.

- Reuters

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