COVID-19 WRAP | SA records just under 5,000 virus cases & SA to receive first batch of vaccines tomorrow

31 January 2021 - 07:24 By TimesLIVE
Workers in PPE spray the ground with diinfectant in Baishazhou market during a visit of World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, January 31, 2021.
Workers in PPE spray the ground with diinfectant in Baishazhou market during a visit of World Health Organization (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, January 31, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Thomas Peter

January 31 2021 - 21:03

SA records just under 5,000 virus cases

"As of today the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified on South Africa is 1,453 761 with 4,525 new cases identified since the last report."

Eastern Cape 191,997

Free State 76,279

Gauteng 388,620

KwaZulu-Natal 315,033

Limpopo 57,981

Mpumalanga 65,054

North West 57,154

Northern Cape 32,010

Western Cape 269,633

January 31 2021 - 20:16

SA to receive first batch of Covid-19 vaccines tomorrow 

January 31 2021 - 17:06

Health minister Zweli Mkhize: The next chapter in our Covid battle

If one were to write a tome on SA’s enduring battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, Monday would mark a new chapter — one of anticipation, hope and possibility.

This chapter would mark the start of our climax, after many pages charting the country’s 11-month campaign to best prevent the spread of infection and save lives.

Those pages would have drawn the tears of many a health-care worker who watched their patients take their last breath; described the quiet desperation of a breadwinner who lost his or her job in an economy shrunken by necessary, life-saving restrictions; and painted pictures of silent streets.

January 31 2021 - 16:57

Two people attended Ballito Rage despite Covid+ test some 10 days prior

At least two revellers who attended the Matric Rage in Ballito late last year had tested positive for the coronavirus before the event.

This was revealed on Sunday in the latest communique from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), which analysed data from the so-called "superspreader event".

The NICD said it received an alert on the weekend of December 5-6 from a clinician from Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, about a number of Covid-19 cases among young people who had attended the Rage Festival in Ballito at end-November into early December.

January 31 2021 - 15:55

Kenya aims to vaccinate 16 million people against Covid-19 by June 2022

Kenya said on Friday it was seeking an extra 11 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, on top of 24 million already ordered, and hopes to have 16 million people inoculated by June next year.

Sourced from major pharmaceutical manufacturers like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the extra doses will be acquired through the African Union's disease control and prevention body. The country will obtain supplies from manufacturers directly if needed, it said.

The East African nation of more than 50 million people aims to vaccinate 1.25 million in phase one of the campaign by June this year, senior health ministry official Mercy Mwangangi told reporters. This would cover health and care-home workers as well as security and immigration personnel.

January 31 2021 - 15:54

Family, friends of young Mpumalanga woman reeling after her death in hospital

A Mpumalanga family and friends of a public management graduate are reeling from shock over her death, shortly after she had pleaded with them to fetch her from a Gauteng hospital.

Daisy Maphosa’s mother Linah Ndala told TimesLIVE on Sunday: “I’m in Mpumalanga and Daisy was based in Johannesburg. I only heard yesterday [Saturday] that she was sick. We were planning to go to Gauteng to ask that she be transferred to Steve Biko hospital in Pretoria.”

She said Maphosa had been suffering from a lung condition. One of her lungs was removed in 2003.

January 31 2021 - 13:45

Despite Ukraine ban, Russia gives Sputnik V doses to rebel-held area

Russia has begun supplying its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine to the rebel-controlled region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine despite a ban by Kyiv, a local news outlet said on Sunday.

Ukraine's government is planning to receive shipments of Western-made vaccines from February and has prohibited the use of Russia's Sputnik V.

But it has little control over Donetsk on its border with Russia, where conflict between Ukrainian troops and Moscow-backed separatist rebels has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014.

January 31 2021 - 12:38

Zimbabwe has $100 million to buy Covid-19 vaccines

Zimbabwe has set aside $100 million to acquire Covid-19 vaccines but the government is still waiting for its scientists to recommend which type to buy, a state-owned newspaper reported on Sunday.

January 31 2021 - 11:35

Inbound: Vaccine for health workers is en route to SA as 5,297 new infections recorded

The first shipment of 1 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is en route to SA, to arrive in Johannesburg on Monday.

The vaccine shipment from the Serum Institure in India left the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Sunday, bound for OR Tambo International Airport.

January 31 2021 - 10:35

Fresh data show toll SA virus variant takes on vaccine efficacy

Clinical trial data on two Covid-19 vaccines show that a coronavirus variant first identified in SA is lessening their ability to protect against the illness, underscoring the need to vaccinate vast numbers of people as quickly as possible, scientists said.

January 31 2021 - 08:44

Australia calls for pharmacists to join virus Covid-19 vaccination

Australia will invite pharmacies this week to join a government-funded rollout of Covid-19 vaccine, the federal government said on Sunday, as the country approached 14 consecutive days without a locally acquired case.

January 31 2021 - 07:17

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 11,192 to 2,216,363 - RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 11,192 to 2,216,363, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.

The reported death toll rose by 399 to 56,945, the tally showed.


January 31 2021 - 07:00

Australia reopens NZ 'travel bubble' after no new Covid-19 cases

Australia reopened its "travel bubble" with New Zealand on Sunday after the neighbouring country reported no new locally acquired Covid-19 cases, but added new screening measures as it marked its longest infection-free run since the outbreak began.

The decision marks the resumption of the only international arrivals into Australia who do not require 14 days in hotel quarantine.

Australia had paused quarantine exemptions for trans-Tasman arrivals six days earlier after New Zealand reported its first new case in months.

Arrivals from New Zealand "are now judged to be sufficiently low risk, given New Zealand's strong public health response to Covid-19", acting Australian Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd told reporters.

However, Australia would require screening of travellers from New Zealand before and after flights for the next 10 days, Kidd added, "given there is still a small risk of further associated cases being detected and with an abundance of caution". 


January 31 2021 - 06:30

Mexican president remains mild case of Covid-19, ministry says

 President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador continues to be only mildly affected by Covid-19, an official said on Saturday, a day after the Mexican leader broadcast a video informing the public that his health was improving.

Ricardo Cortes, a senior health ministry official, told a regular evening news conference that Lopez Obrador still had a "mild case" of Covid-19 and noted the president had almost reached the half-way mark of his isolation phase.

Lopez Obrador announced he had Covid-19 late on Sunday, since when he has withdrawn from his regular public schedule.


January 31 2021 - 06:00

Health minister Zweli Mkhize lets slip Covid-19 vaccine surprise

SA has secured another 20-million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, taking the total on order to more than 42-million.

January 31 2021 - 06:00

How firms did no work, but were still paid millions to disinfect Gauteng schools

Some companies with no experience or expertise in Covid-19 sanitation earned millions for just hiring subcontractors to do their work for the Gauteng government's R431m classroom sanitation programme.

January 31 2021 - 06:00

WHO team to visit Wuhan market, where first Covid infections seen

A World Health Organization-led team of experts investigating the origins of Covid-19 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan was expected to visit Huanan market later on Sunday, a wholesale seafood centre where the new coronavirus was initially detected.

Public access to the market - now barricaded with guards on round-the-clock duty - has been severely restricted since it was shut at the beginning of last year. Before its closure, it was a bustling market comprising hundreds of stalls divided into sections for meat, seafood and vegetables.


January 31 2021 - 06:00

'Guns drawn' as military defend smuggled medication against being seized

The Hawks were sent packing after an embarrassing standoff with the South African National Defence Force's (SANDF) military police during a bungled raid to confiscate controversial Cuban drugs stored at the South African Military Health Service's (SAMHS's) depot in Pretoria.