COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 1,051 Covid-19 cases & 29 deaths over last 24-hour cycle

Covid-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.

21 March 2021 - 06:20 By TimesLIVE
Police officers detain a man as they enforce an 8pm curfew imposed by local authorities on spring break festivities, amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, in Miami Beach, Florida, U.S., March 20, 2021.
Police officers detain a man as they enforce an 8pm curfew imposed by local authorities on spring break festivities, amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, in Miami Beach, Florida, U.S., March 20, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Marco Bello

March 21 2021 - 19:54

SA records 1,051 Covid-19 cases & 29 deaths over last 24-hour cycle 

March 21 2021 - 18:17

Minister in Sanaa administration in Yemen dies of Covid-19, officials say

The transportation minister of the Houthi-controlled administration in Yemen, Zakaria al-Shami, died on Sunday of complications of coronavirus infection, two Yemeni officials said.

Shami was treated in hospital in the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, along with Prime Minister Abdulaziz bin Habtour from the same administration and other officials who have also been infected, they said.

Houthi officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Abdulaziz Alkumaim, the Houthi Planning Minister, said in social media posts Shami had died, but did not provide further details.

March 21 2021 - 18:16

It's official! SA has sold its batch of AstraZeneca vaccines to the AU — Mkhize

The national health department on Sunday said the sale of the million AstraZeneca vaccine doses to the AU has been concluded.

The vaccine — procured by SA earlier this year — was found to have limited efficacy against mild and moderate disease caused by the Covid-19 variant dominant in the country.

“In the past weeks, the department has had to ensure that all member states identified by the AU vaccine acquisition team as recipients of the vaccines are compliant and have obtained all regulatory approvals, permits and licences to roll out the vaccines in their respective countries,” health minister Zweli Mkhize said.

March 21 2021 - 15:23

SA-born billionaire is behind development of new 'game-changer' pill to prevent Covid-19

Move over Elon Musk. SA is celebrating another home-grown world-class creator — this time in the field of bioscience.

Until this week, Patrick Soon-Shiong, 68, was a relatively unknown name for many in the country of his birth. But after Biovac's announcement on Thursday many may be wondering just who Soon-Shiong is.

Cape Town-based vaccine manufacturer Biovac announced it had formed a partnership with Californian cell and immunotherapy product manufacturer ImmunityBio to manufacture the US firm's candidate Covid-19 vaccine.

March 21 2021 - 14:52

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY | Ramaphosa promises a better post Covid-19 society

President Cyril Ramaphosa has used his Human Right’s Day address to ensure South Africans of his mission to establish a better country especially after the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said this was being done through building a new economy that would ensure equal opportunities for all citizens.

This new economy, he said, would also ensure that basic human rights, as enshrined in the constitution, are upheld. These include, among other things, the right to jobs, dignity, freedom of association, safety and education.

March 21 2021 - 13:00

China steps up Covid-19 vaccination, considers differentiated visa policies

China has accelerated its vaccinations against Covid-19, administering 10 million doses in around a week, and is considering varied visa policies based on vaccination and virus conditions in different countries, officials said on Sunday.

The country had administered 74.96 million vaccine doses as of Saturday, health commission spokesman Mi Feng told a news briefing.

That is up from 64.98 million as of March 14.China aims to vaccinate 40% of its 1.4 billion people by the middle of the year, according to state media and a top health adviser.

China was among the first countries to begin administering vaccines last year and has been exporting millions of doses, but its vaccination rate has fallen behind those of such countries as Israel and the United States.

More than 70 million doses of Sinovac Biotech's shot have been administered globally, a company spokesman told the news conference, without specifying how many of those had been administered in China.

Reuters

March 21 2021 - 12:40

German Covid-19 numbers surge, strengthening case for lockdown

The rate at which Germans are getting infected with the coronavirus has jumped above the level at which authorities say healthcare systems will be overburdened, raising pressure on political leaders to tighten lockdown measures.

National and regional leaders are due to meet by videoconference on Monday to decide on the next round of measures to deal with the pandemic.

At their last meeting early this month, they agreed on a cautious opening, over the objections of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who warned that more infectious variants meant the pandemic would be hard to control.

According to the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases, the number of cases per 100,000 population over a week stood at 103.9 on Sunday, above the 100 threshold at which intensive care units can no longer keep up.

Public fatigue over lockdown measures, now in their fourth month, is growing but the numbers suggest state premiers may be forced to pull the "emergency brake" they agreed to on March 2, reversing the opening of some shops.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 13,733 to 2,659,516, according to the RKI. The reported death toll rose by 99 to 74,664, the tally showed.

Reuters

March 21 2021 - 10:52

Massive religious gathering worries India as Covid-19 cases surge

 India's health ministry warned on Sunday that a huge gathering of devotees for a Hindu festival could send coronavirus cases surging, as the country recorded the most new infections in nearly four months.

The ministry said up to 40 people were testing positive for Covid-19 daily around the site of the weeks-long Mahakumbh that began this month and peaks in April in the Himalayan holy town of Haridwar, next to the Ganges.

The festival is held only once every 12 years. Organisers have said more than 150 million visitors are expected, as many Hindus believe bathing in the river during this period absolves people of sins and bring salvation from the cycle of life and death

Reuters

March 21 2021 - 08:42

India's Serum to delay further vaccine shipments to Brazil, Morocco, Saudi  

The Serum Institute of India (SII) has told Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Morocco that further supplies of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine will be delayed due to surging demand at home and as it works through a capacity expansion, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The news comes as India, the world's biggest vaccine maker, is being criticised domestically for donating or selling more doses than inoculations conducted at home, despite reporting the most number of coronavirus infections after the United States and Brazil.

India is currently seeing a second surge of cases, taking its total to about 11.6 million.

The latest delays, first reported by the Times of India daily, came to light days after Britain said it would have to slow its Covid-19 vaccine roll-out next month as SII was likely to deliver more doses later than expected.

SII has supplied half of the 10 million doses recently ordered by Britain.Brazil has already received 4 million doses from SII, Saudi Arabia 3 million doses and Morocco 7 million.

Reuters

March 21 2021 - 08:39

Among those health care workers who remain unvaccinated, 12% said they have not yet decided if they will accept a shot in the arm.

Posted by CBS News on Saturday, March 20, 2021

March 21 2021 - 07:15

China reports 12 new Covid-19 cases vs four a day earlier

China reported 12 new Covid-19 cases on March 20, up from 4 cases a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Sunday.

The National Health Commission said all the new cases were imported from abroad.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed, was eight, the same as a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 90,099, while the death toll remained at 4,636.

Reuters

March 21 2021 - 07:00

Mexico reports 5,729 new coronavirus cases, 608 more deaths

Mexico has registered 5,729 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 608 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 2,193,639 cases and 197,827 deaths, health ministry data showed on Saturday.

The government says the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

Reuters

Brazil Now Has The World’s Worst Covid Outbreak. Experts Blame Variants.

Posted by Forbes on Saturday, March 20, 2021

March 21 2021 - 06:35

'They miss their families': How Covid-19 left elderly cut off from loved ones

For months, silence reigned in pensioner Amy Green’s tiny Durban flat.

She wept sometimes as she yearned for family Sunday lunches, sleepovers and hugs from her nine grandchildren and three children.

March 21 2021 - 06:30

Shoppers raring to take ‘revenge’ on pandemic by spending savings

Shoppers are out for vengeance.

A year into a pandemic that has devastated lives, jobs and the economy, those who are lucky enough to have disposable income are ready to go out and splurge — even if they still have nowhere to go in that stunning dress or those brand-new sneakers. Some are calling this “revenge spending”.

March 21 2021 - 06:25

From Apartheid Museum to Fugard Theatre: How Covid-19 is closing cultural landmarks

All over the country museums and theatres are falling victim to the pandemic, as one by one roads to the soul are closed

March 21 2021 - 06:20

WHO backs AstraZeneca vaccine, so SA's sale is on

With negotiations to sell 1-million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 20 AU countries finally concluded, the government said it was ready to begin the handover.

"Because the negotiations were amicable, we are confident that should a compelling need arise to revisit the decisions made, both parties will be willing to engage," said health department spokesperson Popo Maja.

March 21 2021 - 06:15

Weeks pass, people die, and still no word on any mass vaccine rollout

Another week, another seven days of deafening silence on the project that ought to be at the top of every politician's to-do list: a mass-vaccination programme to enable SA and its 60-million people to cast off the shackles of Covid-19.

March 21 2021 - 06:10

Can Covid-19 get the hell out of our lives. Pronto

Can you believe it has been a year since the world went into battle.

A year and a bit since talk of death, sight of coffins and graves en masse became a staple diet.

Imagine.

March 21 2021 - 06:05

'National vaccine rollout will be speedier than health care jabs' - expert

The Covid-19 vaccine programme will move faster than the inoculation of health workers who are receiving shots as part of a Johnson & Johnson implementation study, says the co-principal investigator of the study, professor Linda-Gail Bekker.

March 21 2021 - 06:00

SA and US firm in talks to produce 'game changing' vaccine locally

In a move that will dramatically alter vaccine distribution, it is also being tested in the form of a tablet. "That will be a game-changer," said Biovac CEO Morena Makhoana.

The currently approved Covid-19 vaccines all need to be stored at temperatures ranging from about -6°C to -70°C in the case of the Pfizer vaccine.

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