COVID-19 WRAP | 1,744 new Covid-19 cases recorded in SA
February 14 2021 - 20:46
1,744 new Covid-19 cases recorded in SA
The latest statistics released by the health department on Sunday revealed 1,744 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in SA.
This brings the cumulative number of cases in the country to 1,491,807.
There was also 78 more Covid-19 related deaths recorded. The total number of deaths in SA now stands at 47,899.
February 14 2021 - 19:44
Brazil confirms UK variant in two coronavirus patients
Brazil has confirmed two cases of the UK variant in the state of Goiás after sequencing test samples taken on December 31, according to the state's health department.
In a statement on Friday, the authorities said the two people who have caught the UK variant live on the outskirts of the federal capital Brasília.
The health department did not say if these are the first cases of the UK variant found in Brazil. It referred questions to the health ministry, which did not have an immediate comment on Sunday.
The World Health Organisation has said the UK variant has now been found in more than 70 countries.
The people who caught the variant had contact with a relative who lives in England, travelled to Brazil for the holidays and had been diagnosed with Covid-19, the Goiás health department said.
February 14 2021 - 19:01
Italy reports 221 coronavirus deaths, 11,068 new cases
Italy's health ministry reported 221 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday against 311 the day before, while the daily tally of new infections fell to 11,068 from 13,532.
Some 205,642 tests for Covid-19 were carried out, compared with 290,534 the previous day, the ministry said.
Italy has registered 93,577 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak began in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the sixth-highest in the world.
There were 126 new admissions to intensive care units, up from 118 on Saturday. The total number of intensive care patients increased to 2,085 from a previous 2,062.
February 14 2021 - 18:11
Rwanda begins Covid-19 vaccinations
Rwanda said on Sunday it has commenced Covid-19 vaccinations with limited supplies of vaccines acquired through unnamed international partners and said the programme had started with frontline health-care workers.
The country has been battling a surge in infections of Covid-19 which forced the government to re-impose a lockdown last month in the capital Kigali.
In a tweet, Rwanda's ministry of health said the country's National Vaccination Program had begun "vaccinating high-risk groups, notably frontline health-care staff, with WHO-approved Covid-19 vaccines acquired through international partnerships in limited quantities".
The initial vaccination phase, the ministry said, will be followed by a wider roll out with supplies secured via the World Health Organisation's COVAX scheme to facilitate vaccine access by poor and middle-income countries.
February 14 2021 - 18:02
UK records 258 new Covid deaths, 10,972 more infections
Britain reported 258 new deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test and 10,972 new infections, official data showed on Sunday.
The data also showed 15,062,189 people had received their first vaccine dose, confirming an earlier announcement.
February 14 2021 - 16:31
UK administers 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine - minister
Britain has now given 15 million people their first dose of vaccine against Covid-19, the minister in charge of the vaccination programme said on Twitter on Sunday.
"15,000,000! Amazing team," Nadim Zahawi tweeted, citing data compiled by the I news website using totals from each of the United Kingdom's four constituent countries.
February 14 2021 - 15:43
You must still pay school fees despite Covid-19 breaks, says Angie Motshekga
Parents who wonder if they can skip paying school fees in the context of Covid-enforced longer school breaks have been categorically given the answer: they must pay up.
Speaking on Sunday, basic education minister Angie Motshekga said that this was one of the “frequently asked” questions the department was confronted with.
February 14 2021 - 13:30
WATCH LIVE | Motshekga gives update on government's state of readiness ahead of school reopening
February 14 2021 - 08:29
It's official: National State of Disaster extended as SA reopens land borders
Cogta minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has officially extended the Disaster Management Act for another month.
In a statement last week, Cabinet said it has agreed to extend the legislation - under which all Covid-19 regulations fall - for another month.
Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday published a gazette officially enacting this decision.
February 14 2021 - 08:00
'In science we don't go for the second-best option': Health ombud Makgoba speaks out on AstraZeneca vaccine
SA health ombud and molecular immunologist Professor Malegapuru Makgoba is fiercely opposed to the rollout of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in SA, saying that from a scientific and public health point of view it would be irrational.
“The AstraZeneca vaccine is not efficacious. It was efficacious against the original, wild virus but it is not against the variant dominant in SA,” he said.
The new variant, known as B1.351 or 501Y.V2, is the current dominant variant in SA.