COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 680 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours, and 6,000 new cases

26 January 2021 - 07:32 By TimesLIVE
Healthcare workers tend to a patient at a temporary ward set up during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, January 19, 2021.
Healthcare workers tend to a patient at a temporary ward set up during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, January 19, 2021.
Image: Phill Magakoe/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

January 26 2021 - 21:48

SA records 680 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours, and 6,000 new cases

SA recorded 680 new Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, the fifth-highest daily number of fatalities linked to the coronavirus.

The new deaths means that 41,797 have now been recorded, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.

The most fatalities recorded in 24 hours was 839, on January 19. This is followed by 806 on January 13, the 755 recorded on January 12 and the 712 recorded on January 14.

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January 26 2021 - 19:15

R1.2bn Tourism Equity Fund launched to help women, the disabled and black entrepreneurs break into the sector

The government has launched the R1.2bn Tourism Equity Fund, aimed at improving the participation of black entrepreneurs in the tourism sector.

President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the fund on Tuesday, at a time when Covid-19 national lockdown regulations have ravaged the usually lucrative industry.

With the new fund, black players in the sector were due to enjoy funding to boost their business enterprises in the next three years. The fund would provide either grants or debt funding for companies owned by black women and disabled entrepreneurs, in an attempt to reignite an industry decimated by the coronavirus.

January 26 2021 - 16:22

WHO experts issue recommendations on Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

A World Health Organisation (WHO) panel of experts recommended on Tuesday that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine be given in two doses at an interval of 28 days, which could be extended under exceptional circumstances to 42 days.

The WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation, known as SAGE, issued a series of recommendations on Moderna, several weeks after issuing their guidance on the rival Pfizer shot.

After reviewing Moderna data the independent experts said that that vaccine not be used on pregnant women unless they are health workers exposed to the virus or have medical conditions putting them at high risk.

January 26 2021 - 16:12

Open the beaches and let the wine flow, Winde pleads with Ramaphosa

Thousands of jobs and billions of rand are haemorrhaging from the Western Cape’s economy, premier Alan Winde said on Tuesday as he called for a special president’s co-ordinating council (PCC) meeting on lockdown regulations.

Among Winde’s requests were a lifting of the beach ban, a later evening curfew, and a return of alcohol sales on certain days in the week and at restaurants and wine farms.

He wrote to Ramaphosa asking for a meeting as data showed a decline in active Covid-19 cases in the Western Cape from a high of 43,971 on January 11 to 19,407 on Tuesday.

Linda Mtoba disappointed by the exorbitant price of some food items in the middle of a pandemic

As many South Africans try to stay financially afloat, actress Linda Mtoba is appalled at the way some retail stores have increased the price of some food items during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The actress took to Twitter to point out how, due to the high demand for items such as lemon and ginger, the price has been hiked by some retailers, which she said was unfair.

Linda expressed how disadvantaged people would not be able afford such items, which some say help combat Covid-19 symptoms when one has contracted the virus. 

January 26 2021 - 15:00

AKA reassures fans that he doesn’t break the alcohol ban

Rapper AKA has reassured his fans that he is indeed a “law-abiding citizen” who tries by all means to uphold the rules of the national lockdown — especially the alcohol ban.

The rapper's revelation comes after a tweep accused him of drinking wine “during a whole lockdown” in a video he shared on Twitter. In the video, Supa Mega can be seen holding a glass of what he claims was “100% apple juice” while singing a song about one of his favourite Premier League soccer players.

While looking pretty happy in his Manchester United jersey, AKA soon got tweeps guessing what was really inside the glass he was holding.

January 26 2021 - 14:56

Regeneron's antibody cocktail effective in preventing Covid-19 infection — study

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Tuesday its antibody cocktail was effective in preventing Covid-19 in people exposed to those infected with the new coronavirus, based on interim results from a late-stage study.

The two-antibody cocktail, REGEN-COV, caused a 100% reduction in symptomatic infection and roughly 50% lower overall rates of infection, based on an analysis of about 400 participants in the trial who had a household member with Covid-19.

Regeneron said it would discuss the interim results with US health regulators to potentially expand the antibody cocktail's current emergency use authorisation (EUA). Full data from the trial is expected early in the second quarter.

January 26 2021 - 13:05

Medical waste dumped in Centurion sparks concern

A concerned citizen from Centurion, north of Johannesburg, fears the worst after discovering Covid-19 waste dumped a few metres away from a hospital near where he lives.

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January 26 2021 - 13:00

WATCH | LOL! Chester Missing says puppets are 'last in vaccination queues' but he'll get the jab

As SA prepares to roll out the Covid-19 vaccines, controversial puppet Chester Missing has vowed to get the jab.

In a video posted on social media, Missing said he will be vaccinated even though he is a puppet.

January 26 2021 - 12:51

Cosas, ANCYL confront school 'for operating outside of Covid regulations'

ANCYL activist Lindokuhle Xulu was seen accusing Mike Aitken, chief executive of schools at the ADvTECH Group, which owns Charterhouse, of genocide - which he refuted.  

“The school is bringing young children with weak immune systems to school to kill them. There’s a deadly virus here. How do you make sure a three-year-old socially distances?” Xulu said.

“Accept the fact that you are lying. What you are doing is genocide.”  

January 26 2021 - 11:20

5 things you need to know about America's new SA travel ban

“Biden's SA restrictions have nothing to do with race, religion or nationality. It's based on hard science — new Covid strains.” 

January 26 2021 - 10:51

Stop hoarding Covid vaccines, Cyril Ramaphosa tells rich countries

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday urged wealthy countries to stop hoarding excess Covid-19 vaccines that they had ordered but did not immediately need, saying the world needed to act together to fight the pandemic.

January 26 2021 - 10:48

Irresponsible behaviour behind Limpopo Covid-19 spike: health MEC

Limpopo was a shining example in the fight against Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic, but it took two weeks in December to turn that around. The province is now a hotspot after thousands trekked home for the festive season.

January 26 2021 - 10:35

POLL | Should Mpumalanga premier Mtsweni-Tsipane be arrested for going maskless in public?

There are growing calls from the public and opposition parties for police to arrest Mpumalanga premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane after she was captured on TV without a face mask at minister Jackson Mthembu’s funeral on Sunday.

Mthembu was laid to rest in his hometown of Emalahleni, Mpumalanga. He died last Thursday from complications related to Covid-19.

Police minister Bheki Cele has since called for an investigation into Mtsweni-Tsipane’s conduct.

January 26 2021 - 09:32

Nasrec facility: Mental health as vital for Covid patients' survival

It's not a fully-fledged hospital — more a step-down facility for critical patients with Covid who have been stabilised at hospital.

The National Recreation Centre (Nasrec) field hospital in Johannesburg currently has 1,000 beds; there is capacity for 500 more but these were decommissioned in September and can become available again if needed.

TimesLIVE was given a tour of the facility's newly opened hall 5 during Gauteng MEC for health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi's site visit this week to assess the Covid-19 response in facilities.

Of the thousand beds, hall 5 has 342 piped oxygen beds, hall 6 has 548 isolation beds, 38    piped oxygen beds, 52 quarantine cubicles and 20 oxygen concentrators, and hall 7 and 8 are currently decommissioned.

January 26 2021 - 08:10

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 6,408 to 2,148,077 

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 6,408 to 2,148,077, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday.

The reported death toll rose by 903 to 52,990, the tally showed. 


January 26 2021 - 07:30

Philippines confirms local transmission of Britain coronavirus variant

The Philippines has confirmed domestic transmission of the new, highly contagious British variant of the coronavirus, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to abandon a plan to allow some minors to go outside their homes."

Right now, we have local transmission where this individual or these cases with the variant have already infected their community, their family," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told news channel ANC on Tuesday.

The world is scrambling to contain the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant, despite travel bans, new lockdowns and a tightening quarantine measures in dozens of countries, amid concerns it could not only be more transmissible, but deadlier.

January 26 2021 - 06:12

Indonesia set to pass 1 mln coronavirus cases as vaccinations roll out

Indonesia is set to officially surpass one million coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a grim milestone for the Southeast Asian nation that has struggled since last March to get the Covid-19 pandemic under control.

The world's fourth-most-populous country had recorded 999,256 coronavirus infections as of Monday, with the average daily increase running above 11,000 for more than a week, according to official data.

Deaths from the respiratory disease have totalled 28,132.

Those numbers are some of the highest in Asia but health experts believe the true spread is likely to be far worse.

The government started its vaccination programme and tightened movement restrictions earlier this month as hospitals came under mounting strain.

Indonesia has been criticised for having among the lowest testing and contact-tracing rates globally, and for focusing on securing vaccines at the expense of trying to enforce health protocols.


FULL INTERVIEW: Dr. Anthony Fauci joins ABC News Live to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine distribution timeline, the moment...

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