COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 998 Covid-19 cases & US mourns half a million lives lost to coronavirus

23 February 2021 - 07:26 By TimesLIVE
People wait in line to receive the Sinovac coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during a mass vaccination in Ecatepec, state of Mexico, Mexico February 22 2021. Picture taken with a drone.
People wait in line to receive the Sinovac coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during a mass vaccination in Ecatepec, state of Mexico, Mexico February 22 2021. Picture taken with a drone.
Image: REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

February 23 2021 - 22:14

SA records 998 Covid-19 cases and 263 deaths

SA had vaccinated 32,315 health care workers under the Sisonke Protocol as of 6pm on Tuesday.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said in an update that there had been an additional 263 Covid-19 related deaths in the past 24-hours around the country with the majority of them, 60, in KwaZulu-Natal.

The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in SA is 1,505,586. The national death toll is 49,413.

“Our recoveries now stand at 1,419,459 representing a recovery rate of 94%,” said Mkhize.

February 23 2021 - 19:51

'I’m back at work, healthy with no issues': doctors upbeat after Covid-19 vaccinations

Two doctors who received their Covid-19 vaccinations say the benefits outweigh the side effects and are encouraging health workers and the public to get the jab.  

A doctor from the Northern Cape who asked not to be named told TimesLIVE that he received the vaccine on February 19.

“I decided to take the vaccine because as we can see now in the second wave with the new variant, a lot of young people are getting sick and some are dying of Covid-19. I just decided that prevention is a better cure and decided it will be good to boost my immunity and fight the virus,” he said.

February 23 2021 - 19:50

MPs split on Covid-19 roll out as Zweli Mkhize allays their concerns

Health minister Zweli Mkhize's attempts to reassure parliament of the efficiency of SA's Covid-19 vaccine rollout strategy has been met with mixed views among MPs, who either applauded or suggested it was a crisis waiting to happen.  

Speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday, where the rollout plan was debated on an urgent basis after an application by the DA, Mkhize said SA had vaccinated 23,059 health workers as of Monday.  

EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi went on the offensive. “How do you vaccinate 23,000 people in four days, you are incompetent ... This is a crisis,” he shouted.

February 23 2021 - 16:03

Bongani Zungu facing Bafana uncertainty after Covid-19 indiscretion at Glasgow Rangers

Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has admitted Bongani Zungu’s indiscretion related to Covid-19 that will see him out of game time at Glasgow Rangers could prevent the key midfielder being called up to next month’s crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Bafana host Ghana on March 22 and travel to Khartoum for their closing match on March 30‚ and the tight situation in Group C means SA may need to win both matches to reach the 2021 Nations Cup.

Ntseki said he and SA Football Association CEO Tebogo Motlanthe will contact Rangers for more information on Zungu’s transgression.

February 23 2021 - 14:27

Loan sharks target Indian sex workers hit by pandemic

When Indian sex worker Baji fell behind on her repayments to a loan shark during lockdown, her house was ransacked and her only belongings of any value - the kitchen utensils - were stolen. It was another low point in a terrible year.

As COVID-19 hit their incomes, hundreds of cash-strapped sex workers in southern Andhra Pradesh state turned to unofficial moneylenders to get through the pandemic - most of them lacking the papers needed to get formal bank credit, campaigners said.

"I had nothing left in my kitchen the day the lender approached me with a loan offer. He had a polite and assuring manner and said there was no urgency to repay the money," Baji, 26, who goes by one name, said by phone from Krishna district.

February 23 2021 - 11:26

WATCH | Wings of empowerment: Young pilot delivers vital PPE while empowering women in aviation

Kelly Slingers is a relief pilot and the founder of the Plane Project. She spends her days collecting and donating much-needed PPE to front-line workers or holding workshops that motivate the youth from all over the world to pursue a career in aviation — as someone once did for her.

“I have a passion for flying and a passion for helping people. I'm so grateful that I've found a way to do both,” said Slingers.

Slingers used to be employed by Eagle Air in Pretoria but quit her job to take on the Plane Project full time.

February 23 2021 - 10:53

WATCH | What you need to know about SA's vaccine rollout

Many countries around the world have begun their vaccination programmes. But what is SA’s plan, and what does our rollout look like?

The government will source, distribute and oversee the rollout of the vaccine over a three-phase rollout plan which aims to achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021.

February 23 2021 - 07:26

U.S. mourns half a million lives lost to coronavirus

Over half a million people have died of coronavirus in the United States, as the country races to vaccinate its most vulnerable residents before new variants of the deadly disease become widespread.

More people have died in the United States due to COVID-19 than any other country in the world. With 4% of the world's population, the United States has 20% of all COVID deaths and one of the highest rates of deaths per 100,000 residents, exceeded by only a few countries such as Belgium, the United Kingdom and Italy. 

-REUTERS

February 23 2021 - 07:00

SA mall operators will continue to provide Covid-19 rental relief

Two of SA's prime commercial property owners will extend rental relief to struggling tenants this year, in a sign the affect of Covid-19 is far from over for hard-hit real estate firms, though they see the tide turning at the end of 2021.

Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) and Redefine Properties — owners of some prominent commercial real estate in Johannesburg and Cape Town — said they would have to provide rental relief for longer.

SA's commercial real estate sector — with its collection of high-rise office spaces and huge shopping malls — has been among the country's worst hit, along with travel and tourism.

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