COVID-19 WRAP | Nearly 1,300 new Covid-19 cases and 51 deaths recorded in SA in 24 hours
April 01 2021 - 22:33
'Significant step' as health authority approves J&J Covid-19 vaccine — with conditions
SA has recorded another positive development in the fight against Covid-19, as the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — albeit with some conditions.
In a statement, Sahpra said it had registered the single-dose vaccine, which is developed by the J&J vaccine arm Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, on March 31. One of the conditions include that the vaccine should be supplied and administered under the national department of health’s Covid-19 vaccination plan and applicable guidelines.
The regulatory body said the Covid-19 vaccine was an adenovirus type 26 vectored vaccine indicated for active immunisation against SARS-CoV-2. The administration of the Janssen Covid-19 Vaccine may contribute to protection against Covid-19.
April 01 2021 - 20:19
Nearly 1,300 new Covid-19 cases and 51 deaths recorded in SA in 24 hours
SA recorded 1,294 new Covid-19 infections and 51 fatalities in the past 24 hours, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday night.
This means that 1,549,451 total infections have been recorded to date, and 52,897 deaths.
The new infections came from 32,725 tests, at a positivity rate of 3.95%.
April 01 2021 - 19:50
Yes, you may take a bottle to your braai this weekend — NDZ was wrong
It's official: you may transport booze this weekend.
This after co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma backtracked on comments made at a press conference earlier on Thursday.
Dlamini-Zuma insisted at the briefing transporting of alcohol was not allowed as part of a Easter weekend prohibition on off-site alcohol sales — but lawyers were quick to point out that this was not what the gazetted regulations stated.
April 01 2021 - 16:21
SA health regulator registers J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) said on Thursday SA’s health regulator had registered its Covid-19 vaccine, paving the way for deliveries to start in the second quarter.
The registration of J&J’s vaccine is a boost for the country worst affected by the pandemic on the continent in terms of recorded infections and deaths. SA is counting on J&J to supply 31 million doses of its vaccine.
April 01 2021 - 15:55
Ramaphosa calls on congregants to observe health protocols over Easter
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all congregants attending religious services during the Easter weekend to do so safely by observing public health protocols including social distancing, wearing masks and washing their hands or sanitising.
“This is also a time when large numbers of travellers will be on our roads, and I call on those who will be making journeys at this time to travel safely and obey the rules of the road,” Ramaphosa said on Thursday afternoon.
April 01 2021 - 14:49
Western Cape residents urged to travel safely and boost business over Easter
The Western Cape government has urged residents to travel safely and support local businesses during the Easter holiday.
This will help businesses recover from the financial losses suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic, the provincial government said.
Provincial finance and economic opportunities MEC David Maynier said the province expects high numbers of travellers after a quiet festive season.
April 01 2021 - 13:52
Pfizer Covid-19 jab 91% effective in new data, protects against variant found in SA
Pfizer Inc and BioNTech said on Thursday their Covid-19 vaccine is around 91% effective at preventing the disease, citing updated trial data that included participants inoculated for up to six months.
The shot was also 100% effective in preventing illness among trial participants in SA, where a new variant called B1351 is dominant, although the number of those participants was relatively small at 800.
While the new overall efficacy rate of 91.3% is lower than the 95% originally reported in November 2020 for its 44,000-person trial, a number of variants have become more prevalent around the world since then.
April 01 2021 - 12:07
How to travel safe this Easter: Expert advice on dodging Covid-19
South Africans are being urged to put health first this Easter, by following Covid-19 safety protocols during the holidays to avoid a resurgence.
Initially anticipated to arrive in the beginning of the winter season, May or June, there is now concern that the Easter holidays could spur on the third wave of Covid-19 infections as early as mid or late April.
April 01 2021 - 11:57
Transportation of alcohol is banned over Easter: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
No-one will be allowed to transport alcohol over the Easter weekend.
It does not matter whether you bought it before the ban for off-site consumption or it is stock from your home.
If you are found transporting liquor over the weekend, whether sober or intoxicated, you will be arrested.
April 01 2021 - 11:42
'Stop it': Facebook told to curb Covid-19 misinformation
Misinformation shared on Facebook is the biggest threat to Papua New Guinea's (PNG's) Covid-19 vaccine plans and the social media giant must take steps to “stop it”, the Pacific country's health minister said on Thursday.
Conspiracy theories about vaccines are so entrenched that even front-line health workers are hesitant to take the shot, Jelta Wong said at a talk with an Australian think-tank that was streamed online.
April 01 2021 - 11:00
Poland reports new daily record of 35,251 coronavirus cases
Poland reported new daily record of 35,251 coronavirus cases on Thursday, health ministry data showed, as the country grapples with a third wave of the pandemic that has pushed its health service to its limits.
In total, the country of 38 million has reported 2,356,970 cases of the coronavirus and 53,665 deaths.
April 01 2021 - 09:57
Russia registers world's first Covid-19 vaccine for animals
Russia has registered the world’s first vaccine against Covid-19 for animals, the country’s agriculture safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on Wednesday after tests showed it generated antibodies against the virus in dogs, cats, foxes and mink.
Mass production of the vaccine, called Carnivac-Cov, will start in April.
The World Health Organisation has expressed concern over the transmission of the virus between humans and animals. The regulator said the vaccine would be able to protect vulnerable species and thwart viral mutations.
April 01 2021 - 09:30
Million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines to arrive in April, says Zweli Mkhize
A million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines will arrive in SA in April, health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday morning.
Mkhize said the country will receive a further 900,000 vaccines in May and June.
“The numbers will start increasing from July onwards,” he said during an interview on Morning Live.
April 01 2021 - 09:03
Peak of French Covid-19 wave could be within 10 days - Veran
France could hit the peak of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in seven to 10 days with the new restrictive measures announced on Wednesday by French President Emmanuel Macron, Health Minister Olivier Veran told France Inter radio.
Macron ordered France into its third national lockdown and said schools would close for three weeks as he sought to push back the third wave of Covid-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals.
"We could reach a peak of the epidemic in seven to 10 days if all goes according to plan", Veran said."
Then we need two extra weeks to reach a peak in intensive care units (ICUs) that could occur at the end of April."
Daily new Covid-19 infections in France have doubled since February to average nearly 40,000. The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care breached 5,000 this week, exceeding the peak hit during the six-week second lockdown enforced late last year.
April 01 2021 - 07:00
National Arts Council hauled to court as artists continue to picket
Apparent failures to help artists hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic has left the sector outraged. Numerous protests, including an unprecedented month-long sit-in by frustrated artists at the NAC offices in Johannesburg, have taken place.
April 01 2021 - 07:00
France goes into a third national lockdown
President Emmanuel Macron ordered France into its third national lockdown and said schools would close for three weeks as he sought to push back a third wave of Covid-19 infections that threatens to overwhelm hospitals.
April 01 2021 - 06:42
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 24,300
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 24,300 to 2,833,173, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.
The reported death toll rose by 201 to 76,543, the tally showed.
April 01 2021 - 06:15
Australia lifts Brisbane lockdown in time for Easter as Covid cases dwindle
Australia ended a lockdown of its third-biggest city Brisbane on Thursday, just in time for Easter holidays, as only one new locally transmitted Covid-19 case in Queensland state eased fears of a widespread outbreak.
Video and photos on social media showed people wearing masks checking in at cafes and restaurants for lunch or having beer at bars as Brisbane emerged from its three-day snap lockdown at noon local time (0200 GMT).
Residents are, however, still required to wear masks in public and some social distancing restrictions will remain in place, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said earlier in the day as she announced the easing of curbs.
"We are expecting a very good Easter," Palaszczuk said, even as she cautioned that the state was "not out of the woods yet".
Queensland is a popular destination for domestic travellers over the Easter break and subsequent school term holidays.
"I'm asking Queenslanders for the next two weeks if we all do the right thing, we can get through this together," Palaszczuk said at a televised briefing.
April 01 2021 - 06:10
India opens up immunisation to more people, vaccine exports to dwindle
India opened up its coronavirus inoculation programme to people above 45 on Thursday as infections surge, which will delay vaccine exports from the world's biggest maker of the drug.
The country, with the most number of reported Covid-19 cases after the United States and Brazil, has so far injected 64 million doses and exported nearly as many.
This has raised criticism at home as India's per-capita vaccination figure is much lower than many countries.
The government has previously said that people over 45 can register for inoculation from April 1.
India initially focused on front-like workers, the elderly and those suffering from other health conditions, unlike some richer countries that have made all their adults eligible to get inoculated.
April 01 2021 - 06:00
#COVID19 UPDATE: A total of 34 513 tests were conducted in the last 24 hrs, with 1 422 new cases, which represents a 4% positivity rate. A further 58 #COVID19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 52 846 to date. Read more here: https://t.co/P40xSitXMx pic.twitter.com/OF5GKORKz5— NICD (@nicd_sa) March 31, 2021