COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 1,654 Covid-19 cases & We will protect ourselves from Covid-19, but not eradicate it - German RKI

26 February 2021 - 07:21
By TimesLIVE
An aerial view of the Parque Taruma cemetery amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil February 25 2021. Picture taken with a drone.
Image: REUTERS/Bruno Kelly An aerial view of the Parque Taruma cemetery amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil February 25 2021. Picture taken with a drone.

February 26 2021 - 22:11

Nigeria expects first 4 million coronavirus vaccine doses from COVAX next week — WHO

Nigeria is expecting its first 4 million doses of coronavirus vaccines next week from the global COVAX programme for poor and middle-income countries, the World Health Organisation said on Friday.

Walter Kazadi Mulombo, head of WHO's mission in Nigeria, told a briefing by video link that Nigeria was expecting 14 million doses in total.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said the situation in Nigeria was so far much better than had been widely predicted early in the pandemic.

February 26 2021 - 22:09

SA records 1,654 Covid-19 cases

Gauteng topped the list of provinces for Covid-19 related deaths (59 out of a total of 117) recorded over the last 24-hours in an update issued by the health ministry on Friday evening.

The Western Cape recorded 17 deaths, KwaZulu-Natal 13, Northern Cape 12, Mpumalanga eight, Limpopo four and Eastern Cape four. The Free State and North West did not record any deaths.

The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in SA was 1,510,778 with total recoveries of 1,426,417, representing a recovery rate of 94%.

“The cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 9,028,074 with 28,752 new tests recorded since the last report,” said health minister Zweli Mkhize.

“The number of health care workers vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol is 63,648 as of 6.30pm.”

February 26 2021 - 21:45

Second batch of Covid-19 vaccines arrive in SA on Saturday

The government has confirmed that all is on track for the second batch of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines to arrive in SA on Saturday.

The consignment is expected to be received by government officials at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport.

“The consignment will be moved to a secure facility in Gauteng before being distributed to the various vaccine centres in all provinces,” the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said in a statement.

February 26 2021 - 20:45

J&J says two people had severe allergic reactions after Covid-19 shot

A Johnson & Johnson scientist said on Friday that the company has received preliminary reports of two cases of severe allergic reactions, including one case of anaphylaxis, in people who had received the company's Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr Macaya Douoguih, head of clinical development and medical affairs at J&J unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals, said the case of anaphylaxis was observed in an ongoing trial of health-care workers in SA.

There had not been any previously reported cases of anaphylaxis, Douoguih said.

February 26 2021 - 20:31

Pension fund CEO who defied government advice to 'jump Covid-19 shot queue' steps aside

The head of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Mark Machin, has stepped down after his trip to the United Arab Emirates for vaccination against Covid-19 flouted Canadian government's travel advice and drew criticism.

CPPIB on Friday named John Graham as CEO, who is currently senior MD and global head of credit investments of the country's largest pension fund.

Machin becomes the second senior Canadian corporate executive to resign after attempting to jump vaccine queues, underscoring the frustration among some about the country's slow vaccine rollout.

February 26 2021 - 17:39

WATCH | Two more vaccination sites to be added in Gauteng for when new batch arrives

Two new Covid-19 vaccination sites will be added in Gauteng, at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Tshwane and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

Gauteng premier David Makhura and health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi confirmed this while on a walkabout at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto on Friday.

The inoculation programme began almost two weeks ago in SA, with 16,800 doses of the vaccine allocated to Gauteng.

February 26 2021 - 17:29

Zimbabwe may consider mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the country may consider mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations following resistance by the population towards getting the jab.

He was speaking on Friday at Nyamandhlovu, on the outskirts of Bulawayo, the second-largest city.

“You won’t be forced to be vaccinated. But there will come a time, if you are not vaccinated you will not be able to get a job, if you are not vaccinated you will not able to board a Zupco bus. Eventually you will have to decide for yourself,” he said.

February 26 2021 - 15:29

Canada approves AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine

Canada's drug regulator approved AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine on Friday, the third inoculation to get a green light.

The vaccine was approved under Canada's interim order system, which allows for accelerated approvals similar to the US Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorisations.


February 26 2021 - 13:00

Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine reduces transmission after one dose: UK study

A single dose of Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine cuts the number of asymptomatic infections and could significantly reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, results of a UK study found on Friday.

Researchers analysed results from thousands of Covid-19 tests carried out each week as part of hospital screenings of health-care staff in Cambridge, eastern England.

“Our findings show a dramatic reduction in the rate of positive screening tests among asymptomatic health-care workers after a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,” said Nick Jones, an infectious diseases specialist at Cambridge University Hospital, who co-led the study.

February 26 2021 - 13:00

We will protect ourselves from COVID-19, but not eradicate it - German RKI

The coronavirus will not be eliminated and humanity will learn to live with it by getting protection from vaccinations, the head of Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for Infectious Diseases said on Friday.

"This virus will not go away," institute head Lothar Wieler told a news conference.

"Of course, we will live with the virus. We will eliminate the severity of the disease through vaccination and immunity and protect ourselves from it, but we will not be able to eradicate it. That's a naive idea," he added.


February 26 2021 - 10:15

Kenya to bag its first batch of vaccine doses in the next week

Kenya will kickstart its vaccine campaign next week, BBC reports, with health-care workers, some essential workers and vulnerable groups vaccinated first. 

Though it is unconfirmed which vaccine Kenya will be receiving, the health ministry reportedly said it would be acquiring the AstraZeneca vaccine and approved its use earlier this month.

February 26 2021 - 10:10

Russia reports 11,086 new Covid-19 cases, 428 deaths

Russia on Friday reported 11,086 new COVID-19 cases, including 1,336 in Moscow, pushing the national case tally to 4,223,186 since the pandemic began.

The coronavirus taskforce said that 428 people had died in the last 24 hours, taking the official death toll to 85,304.


February 26 2021 - 08:47

SA to evaluate data received on Russia's SputnikV vaccine

The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) said it would evaluate data received for Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.

Sahpra CEO Boitumelo Semete said the data would be evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy of the vaccine.

This after the national health ministry confirmed last week that the manufacturers of the Sputnik V vaccine had submitted documentation for registration. 

February 26 2021 - 07:20

Brazil Covid-19 death toll passes a quarter million

Brazil's COVID-19 outbreak has killed 251,498 people, the Health Ministry reported on Thursday, as it reported 1,541 deaths in the last 24 hours, the second highest daily death toll since the pandemic hit the country a year ago.

With 65,998 new cases of coronavirus reported on Thursday, the South American country has now registered 10,390,461 cases, in the world's third worst outbreak outside the United States and India and its second-deadliest.