COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 139 Covid-19 related deaths and 933 cases in 24 hours

16 March 2021 - 13:09 By TimesLIVE
Moviegoers are pictured at a AMC theatre on reopening day during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Burbank, California, US, March 15, 2021.
Moviegoers are pictured at a AMC theatre on reopening day during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Burbank, California, US, March 15, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

March 17 2021 - 23:51

SA records 139 Covid-19 related deaths and 933 cases in 24 hours

SA recorded 139 Covid-19 related deaths and 933 cases in the past 24 hours, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.

This means that there have now been 51,560 confirmed deaths linked to the coronavirus pandemic in SA, as well as 1,530,966 confirmed infections.

The new cases come from 24,920 tests at a positivity rate of 3.74%.

March 17 2021 - 22:48

Mother who lost only son to rare Covid complication warns parents to look for early signs

By the time doctors realised that Lorena Navarrete's son had a rare complication of Covid-19 that afflicts some children, it was too late to save her 16-year-old Emilio.

Lorena, a single mother who lives in the southern Chilean city of Puerto Montt, told the TVN network that her music-loving and sociable son died about a week after he first complained of feeling tired and of a pain in his legs in late January.

Within days he had developed livid blotches on his skin, a high fever, vomiting and dark urine.

March 17 2021 - 22:47

Russia says its Covid vaccines work on new variants after SA cases discovered

Russia's Covid-19 vaccines have proven effective against new variants of the coronavirus in trials, a scientist with Moscow's consumer regulator said on Tuesday, after the agency reported its first cases of a variant first detected in South Africa.

President Vladimir Putin last month ordered a review to determine the efficacy of the three vaccines produced and registered in Russia against new variants spreading in different parts of the world. He said he wanted the results by March 15.

Consumer regulator Rospotrebnadzor said earlier on Tuesday it had identified the first two cases in Russia of the new variant of the coronavirus first detected in South Africa.

March 17 2021 - 22:46

I've had AstraZeneca vaccine, says Britain's Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla

Camilla, Britain's Duchess of Cornwall and wife of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, said on Tuesday she received the AstraZeneca shot when she had her first vaccine dose.

On a trip to a vaccination centre in north London, Camilla, 73, said she had received the AstraZeneca vaccine and had not been concerned whether she received that or another shot made by Pfizer and BioNTech.

"I don't even ask because I hate injections so much that I shut my eyes ... so whatever comes out," said the duchess, who was vaccinated along with her 72-year-old husband last month.

March 16 2021 - 16:41

SA regulator approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use

The SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) said on Tuesday it had approved a “section 21” emergency use application for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The country’s drugs regulator said the approval was subject to further efficacy and safety surveillance of the vaccine in the country, including against the dominant local coronavirus variant.

March 16 2021 - 13:45

Hungary's hospitals nearing limits as Covid-19 cases surge, doctors say

Hungary's Covid-19 cases are expected to rise further in the weeks ahead, Surgeon General Cecilia Muller said on Tuesday, as doctors warned the local health system was entering its most critical period for half a century.

The Hungarian Medical Chamber said in a statement that the pandemic situation was "critical" and the healthcare system could reach its limits any time.

As of Tuesday, Hungary had reported 529,122 cases and 17,226 deaths from Covid-19.

More than 1,000 people are on ventilators, straining hospitals.

Muller told an online briefing that some hospitals had to involve additional departments in treating Covid-19 patients because of a recent surge in new cases.

"All of our epidemiological figures are unfolding unfavourably," Muller said.

Reuters

March 16 2021 - 12:36

SA is struggling, new mental health study finds

The average mental wellbeing score was highest for respondents from Singapore and the US.

The study from The Mental Health Million Project provided key insights on the impact Covid-19 had on mental health in each corner of the globe a year since the outbreak.

March 16 2021 - 10:29

Pick n Pay caps profit margins on ginger and garlic after pricing complaints

Pick n Pay has agreed to cap profit margins on garlic and ginger after the Competition Commission said consumers had complained about the high prices of the products at a variety of grocers around the country.

March 16 2021 - 09:21

Facebook to label all posts about Covid-19 vaccines

The social media company said in a blog post it is also launching a tool in the US to give people information about where to get Covid-19 vaccines and adding a Covid-19 information area to its photo-sharing site Instagram.

March 16 2021 - 08:00

WHO urges health workers to allow life-saving mother-baby contact

The Covid-19 pandemic is severely affecting the care of sick or premature newborn babies, with many being unnecessarily separated from their mothers and put at risk of death or long-term health problems, global health experts said on Tuesday.

March 16 2021 - 07:45

US drug distributors urge government to boost Covid-19 vaccine supply network

Three major US drug distributors have requested the government to expand the Covid-19 vaccine supply chain network as the country strives to immunise its population against the novel coronavirus as quickly as possible.

March 16 2021 - 07:30

Jordan uses teargas to clamp down on anti-lockdown protesters

Jordan used teargas on Monday to suppress protests against a curfew imposed to stem a severe outbreak of Covid-19, witnesses and residents said.

Police took action after hundreds of protesters in several cities including Amman demonstrated for a second day and defied a night curfew which was extended last week, they said.

March 16 2021 - 07:20

Vax calculator: Here's how many people SA needs to vaccinate daily to achieve herd immunity by 2022

SA could achieve herd immunity by February next year if it vaccinates 210,000 people a day.

March 16 2021 - 07:05

Hong Kong's tough Covid-19 rules see babies isolated, families cramped in tiny spaces

Families in Asia's financial hub of Hong Kong are suffering isolation and trauma after strict coronavirus rules have led to babies being separated from parents and those with newborns herded into tiny quarantine quarters for up to 14 days. 

Hong Kong authorities have ordered that anyone testing positive for the virus must go to hospital, including babies, while all their close contacts, even those who test negative, are sent to makeshift quarantine camps.

March 16 2021 - 06:34

Hong Kong's tough Covid-19 rules see babies isolated, families cramped in tiny spaces

Families in Asia's financial hub of Hong Kong are suffering isolation and trauma after strict coronavirus rules have led to babies being separated from parents and those with newborns herded into tiny quarantine quarters for up to 14 days.

Hong Kong authorities have ordered that anyone testing positive for the virus must go to hospital, including babies, while all their close contacts, even those who test negative, are sent to makeshift quarantine camps.

"It’s crazy," said one mother, who said she had to abruptly stop breastfeeding following separation from her seven-month-old son last week after she was diagnosed with Covid-19.

March 16 2021 - 06:30

Venezuela will not authorize AztraZeneca vaccine due to effects on patients, VP says

Venezuela will not authorize AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Monday, citing its "effects on patients." 

Reuters

March 16 2021 - 06:15

Japan PM Suga receives Covid-19 vaccination ahead of Biden meeting in US

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga received his first dose of Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday in preparation for a meeting with US President Joe Biden next month.

Suga is the first Japanese government official to publicly receive the vaccine. Some 80-90 officials will be inoculated before heading to the United States early next month, where Suga will become the first world leader to meet Biden as president.

"It didn't hurt, although it seemed so," Suga told reporters after he was inoculated. 

Reuters

March 16 2021 - 06:00

Australia to continue using AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine despite Europe pause

Australia has no plans to halt the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, authorities said on Tuesday, even though several European countries paused administering the vaccine after reports of possible serious side-effects.

Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus joined several other European nations on Monday in temporarily suspending vaccinations with AstraZeneca shots after reports of isolated cases of bleeding, blood clots and low platelet count in some of the nations.

"While the European Medicines Agency is investigating these events, it has reinforced its view that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is successful in protecting against Covid-19 and should continue to be used in the rollout," Australia Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said in an emailed statement.

Reuters

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