COVID-19 WRAP | SA's Covid-19 cases increase to 1,521,706

08 March 2021 - 07:43 By TimesLIVE
A man receives a vaccine against the coronavirus disease at the Masaka hospital in Kigali, Rwanda on March 5 2021.
A man receives a vaccine against the coronavirus disease at the Masaka hospital in Kigali, Rwanda on March 5 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Jean Bizimana/File Photo

March 08 2021 - 23:02

SA records 638 new Covid-19 cases and 125 deaths in 24 hours

SA recorded just 638 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Monday night that this took the total number of confirmed infections across SA to 1,521,706.

The new cases came from 13,630 tests, at a positivity rate of 6.48%.

March 08 2021 - 19:38

Italy approves AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for over 65s -health ministry

Italy on Monday recommended the use of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines for those aged over 65, the health ministry said in a statement, overcoming previous doubts that the drug might not be very effective amongst the elderly.

"Scientific evidence that has become available ... indicates that, even in people aged over 65, the vaccine is capable of providing significant protection," the ministry said.


March 08 2021 - 18:37

Italy's coronavirus death toll passes 100,000 -ministry

Italy's coronavirus death toll passed the 100,000 mark on Monday, the health ministry said, as the government battles to contain a third wave of infections.

Italy is the seventh country in the world to reach the bleak milestone, following the United States, Brazil, Mexico, India, Russia and Britain.

The health ministry said 318 people had died of the disease in the past 24 hours bringing the total tally since the epidemic hit the country 13 months ago to 100,103.Over the last day, some 13,902 new cases were logged against 20,765 on Sunday. Fewer tests are normally carried out at the weekend, which means case numbers are often low on Mondays.

Infections rose 23% last week by comparison with the week before and health officials have warned that the country faces a fresh surge of cases as a more contagious variant of the disease gains ground.


March 08 2021 - 14:19

Pandemic tames Airbnb in Europe’s tourist hotspots — for now

The Covid-19 pandemic has achieved what many mayors across Europe have tried and failed to do: wipe out tens of thousands of Airbnb facilities from city centres and help lower rental costs for locals, in some places by as much as 15%.

While Europe’s cities have long welcomed tourists, critics say the surge of properties listed on short-lettings site Airbnb in recent years had priced many locals out of their own housing markets, turning historic neighbourhoods into soulless spaces.

Property management companies and landlords contacted by Reuters in cities including Lisbon, Barcelona, Prague, and Venice said the collapse of tourism in the pandemic meant some hosts had replaced holidaymakers with mid- to long-term tenants, moved in themselves, or given up properties altogether.

March 08 2021 - 14:16

English children head back to school after two months of home learning

Millions of English children and teenagers headed back to school on Monday for the first time in two months, having endured their second extended stretch of home learning because of a strict national lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The reopening of English schools to all pupils is the first step in a four-stage government plan to ease the lockdown while trying to prevent a new surge in infections after a devastating winter wave that severely strained hospitals.

Since the start of the pandemic, Britain has recorded 124,500 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, the fifth highest official death toll in the world and the worst in Europe.

March 08 2021 - 12:54

No approved Covid-19 vaccines are available for sale, warn police

As SA prepares for the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, the police have warned people to be  wary of sales of fake vaccines.

The second phase of the rollout is set to take place between late April and early May after the vaccination of health workers has been completed.

During his recent address to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the second phase will include the elderly, essential workers, persons living in or working in institutional settings and those with co-morbidities.

March 08 2021 - 12:42

Thailand to cut quarantine for vaccinated foreigners to seven days from April

Thailand will reduce mandatory quarantine from 14 to seven days starting April for foreigners arriving in the country who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirankul said on Monday.

Vaccinations must be administered within three months of the travel period and travellers will be required to show negative Covid-19 test results, he said, adding that those who have not been inoculated but have Covid-19 free certificates would be quarantined for 10 days.


March 08 2021 - 11:30

South Korea finds no link between deaths and coronavirus vaccine

South Korea said on Monday it had found no link between the coronavirus vaccine and several recent deaths, as it ordered nearly 100,000 foreign workers to be tested after clusters emerged in dormitories.

Health officials had been investigating the deaths of eight people with underlying conditions who had adverse reactions after receiving AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine, but said they found no evidence that the shots played a role.

“We've tentatively concluded that it was difficult to establish any link between their adverse reaction after being vaccinated, and their deaths,” Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) director Jeong Eun-kyeong told a briefing.

March 08 2021 - 11:13

Covid-19 nurse 'unpaid after nine months'

A nurse who has been on the front line against Covid-19 says the Eastern Cape health department has not paid her for nine months.

Sbusiso Mngunikazi Citwa, 47, left the department in November 2018 to recover after a miscarriage.

She applied for a post in 2019 and was appointed as a health-care worker at Stutterheim hospital in June.

March 08 2021 - 10:40

Rare disease targets US children after contracting Covid-19

A rare disease called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) is being recorded in some children who have contracted Covid-19, CNN reports.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,617 MIS-C cases and 33 deaths among children before March 1, an increase from February’s 2,060 cases and 30 deaths.

The cause of MIS-C is unknown and doctors report children often contract Covid-19 before presenting symptoms, but this is not always the case.

March 08 2021 - 10:33

US says Russian-backed outlets spread Covid-19 vaccine 'disinformation'

The US has identified three online publications directed by Russia's intelligence services that it says are seeking to undermine Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, a state department spokesperson said on Sunday.

The outlets “spread many types of disinformation, including about both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as international organisations, military conflicts, protests and any divisive issue that they can exploit,” the spokesperson said.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) first reported on the identification of the alleged campaign on Sunday. A Kremlin spokesperson denied the US claim Russia was spreading false information about vaccines to the WSJ.

March 08 2021 - 08:26

Pandemic shows how SA women can ‘organise, collaborate, lead and achieve’, Ramaphosa says

There will be “no meaningful progress” for SA women while they are relegated to “traditional professions, occupations or roles”.

This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa in his weekly newsletter, published this week on International Women’s Day.

“There can be no meaningful progress for women if our society continues to relegate women to ‘traditional’ professions, occupations or roles, while it is mainly men who sit on decision-making structures.

March 08 2021 - 07:29

'Since Covid-19 reached SA, women have played a pivotal role in the country’s response': Ramaphosa