COVID-19 WRAP | 12,267 new cases recorded in 24 hours

17 January 2021 - 07:24 By TimesLIVE
Police officers stop men wearing masks during a patrol as a nighttime curfew is reimposed amid a nationwide coronavirus disease lockdown, in Pretoria, South Africa, on January 9, 2021.
Police officers stop men wearing masks during a patrol as a nighttime curfew is reimposed amid a nationwide coronavirus disease lockdown, in Pretoria, South Africa, on January 9, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

January 17 2021 - 21:44

Cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 337 926 with a total of 12 267 new cases identified since the last report.

The cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 7 613 470 with 54 696 new tests conducted since the last report

254 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported:

  • Eastern Cape 22,
  • Free State 13,
  • Gauteng 59,
  • Kwa-Zulu Natal 40,
  • Mpumalanga 16,
  • North West 26,
  • Northern Cape 6 and
  • Western Cape 72.

This brings the total to 37 105 deaths. 

Our recoveries now stand at 1 098 441 representing a recovery rate of 82,1%

January 17 2021 - 21:27

Brazil clears emergency use of Sinovac, AstraZeneca vaccines, shots begin

Brazilian health regulator Anvisa on Sunday approved emergency use of Covid-19 vaccines from China's Sinovac Biotech and Britain's AstraZeneca, kicking off immunizations as the pandemic enters a deadly second wave.

Minutes after Anvisa's board voted unanimously to approve both vaccines, Monica Calazans, a 54-year-old Black nurse in Sao Paulo, became the first person to be inoculated in Brazil, receiving the Chinese vaccine known as CoronaVac.

President Jair Bolsonaro, a coronavirus skeptic who has refused to take a vaccine himself, is under growing pressure to start inoculations in Brazil, which has lost more than 200,000 to Covid-19 – the worst death toll outside the United States.


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January 17 2021 - 20:35

Portugal's health system on brink of collapse as Covid-19 cases surge

Portugal's public health system is on the verge of collapsing as hospitals in the areas worst-affected by a worrying surge in coronavirus cases are quickly running out of intensive care beds to treat Covid-19 patients."

Our health system is under a situation of extreme pressure," Health Minister Marta Temido told reporters on Sunday afternoon after a visit to a struggling hospital. "There is a limit and we are very close to it."

The health system, which prior to the pandemic had the lowest number of critical care beds per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe, can accommodate a maximum of 672 Covid-19 patients in intensive care units, or ICUs, according to health ministry data.


January 17 2021 - 16:14

FACES OF COVID | 'I have walked out on my own two feet'

Veteran radio personality and former government spokesperson Denzil Taylor has shared his joy at being discharged from hospital after recovering from Covid-19.

Taylor has kept his Twitter followers updated on his Covid-19 journey, which started shortly after a trip to the Garden Route.

January 17 2021 - 15:54

Patients are visiting health-care facilities too late: KZN premier Sihle Zikalala on Covid-19 cases

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government is pleading with residents to not “over-rely on homemade recommended solutions” but rather seek medical attention as soon as they show Covid-19 symptoms.

Premier Sihle Zikalala raised the alarm at a media briefing on Sunday about this phenomenon, adding that patients “must try and reach health facilities on time when [treatment] could still be done”.

January 17 2021 - 14:06

SA's Catholic Church mourns loss of Archbishop Abel Gabuza to Covid-19

Covid-19 has claimed the life of the Catholic Church's archbishop coadjutor of the archdiocese of Durban, Abel Gabuza.

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, the Catholic Archbishop of Durban, made the announcement on Sunday.

Gabuza died at Hillcrest Hospital on Sunday morning after a week in ICU battling Covid-19.

January 17 2021 - 13:58

Judge Zondo pledges to preserve Solly Bux's legacy by helping others

To “give without any expectation, without recognition”. That is how deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo aims to preserve the legacy of a KwaZulu-Natal businessman who assisted Zondo and his family with groceries while he was a university student.

January 17 2021 - 13:04

ATM hygiene safety: Banks ask for practicality on Dlamini-Zuma regulation

The Banking Association SA (Basa) says it will engage the government to revise the wording of the latest Covid-19 lockdown regulations so that banks are only responsible for enforcing the regulations “where it is practical, possible, and within their control”.

This comes after co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told banks a week ago to provide hand sanitisers at all ATMs or face the might of the law.

Basa said the industry did ensure regular sanitisation of ATMs at branches and provided hand sanitisers for customers while ensuring markers for social distancing. ATMs not attached to branches are cleaned and sanitised by external cleaning companies or landlords, where they are located and by the cash-in-transit companies that service the ATMs.

January 17 2021 - 12:20

WATCH | Kelly Khumalo says victory over Covid-19 needs 'God himself'

While Mzansi joins the rest of the continent in anticipation of the upcoming rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, songstress Kelly Khumalo has called on Mzansi to divert their attention to God, whom she believes holds the only true miracle to save the country and the world.

Taking to social media this week, Kelly asked people to pray as the difficult times brought about by the global pandemic continue.

“Beloveds, our people are dying ... Yes, we have to social distance, keep our masks on, and I’m sure with the alcohol ban things are going to go down. But I don’t hear a lot of government officials calling us to prayer. I feel that we need God more than ever at this point in time,” Kelly said in the Instagram video.

January 17 2021 - 11:52

Dlamini-Zuma set to file response to vaccine challenge by Wednesday

AfriForum and Solidarity say co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has until Wednesday to explain the government’s monopolistic rollout plan for Covid-19 vaccines.

The two organisations have taken legal action against Dlamini-Zuma and health minister Zweli Mkhizwe to seek clarity on whether the private sector would have access to Covid-19 vaccines.

“The government has appropriated the right to be the sole procurer of vaccines in SA,” said Connie Mulder, head of the Solidarity research institute.

January 17 2021 - 11:16

Tributes pour in after KZN transport MEC Bheki Ntuli dies from Covid-related complications

Condolences are streaming in for KwaZulu-Natal transport MEC Bheki Ntuli, who died at a Durban hospital on Saturday from Covid-19 related complications.

Ntuli, 63, was appointed to the position of MEC in September 2019. He previously served as chairperson of the transport and community safety and liaison portfolio committees for three consecutive terms.

At the time of his death, he was also a member of the ANC’s provincial executive committee  (PEC).

January 17 2021 - 09:34

Rami Chuene thankful for 'small mercy' of virtual funerals: It brings some comfort

As the Covid-19 fatalities have become more and more personal to people across SA, the number of funerals to attend has gone up, even though the regulations limit the number of attendees.

That is why actress Rami Chuene is grateful that she is at least able to attend funerals virtually and she's taken to Twitter to explain why that is.

Rami has labelled the ability to host and attend virtual funerals a “small mercy” in these difficult times for Mzansi and the rest of the world.

January 17 2021 - 09:31

Mining industry to support SA's Covid-19 vaccine rollout

South Africa's mining companies will support government in the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines as the nation battles a surge in infections, the industry body said on Friday.

Mining companies say they are well placed to support the Covid-19 response thanks to decades of experience combatting tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS among workers, including the creation of on-site treatment facilities.

The Minerals Council, which represents mining firms, said its members are developing plans to use the sector's healthcare infrastructure and delivery capability to accelerate the vaccination programme, but did not provide further detail.

January 17 2021 - 07:23

SA records over 13,000 new Covid-19 cases