COVID-19 WRAP | 1,300 new Covid-19 cases and 62 deaths recorded in SA in 24 hours
April 07 2021 - 22:56
1,300 new Covid-19 cases and 62 deaths recorded in SA in 24 hours
SA recorded 1,366 new Covid-19 cases and 62 deaths in the past 24 hours, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.
This means there have been 1,554,975 total infections and 53,173 fatalities recorded across the country. The new cases came from 35,874 tests at a positivity rate of 3.8%.
Of the newly recorded deaths, 30 were in the North West, 11 were in the Free State, eight were in Gauteng, five were in both the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga, two were in KwaZulu-Natal and one was in the Eastern Cape. There were no deaths recorded in the Western Cape and Limpopo in the past 24 hours.
April 08 2021 - 16:59
African Union drops AstraZeneca from its vaccine plan
The African Union's disease control body said on Thursday it has dropped plans to secure AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines for its members from the Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine supplier, amid global shortfalls of the shot.
The announcement is another blow to AstraZeneca, which has touted its shot as the vaccine for the world because it is the cheapest and easiest to store and transport, making it well suited to the needs of developing countries.
It comes the day after European and British medicine regulators said they had found possible links between the vaccine and rare cases of brain blood clots, while nonetheless reaffirming its importance in protecting people.
April 08 2021 - 16:29
Serum Institute of India has refunded SA for undelivered AstraZeneca doses: Zweli Mkhize
The Serum Institute of India has fully refunded SA for 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine which the country did not want and which had not yet been delivered, health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Thursday.
He added that SA expected to get more than one million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson in April as the country looks to ramp up its vaccination drive.
TimesLIVE reported that the first batch of SA's unwanted AstraZeneca vaccine doses have been dispatched to the AU.
April 08 2021 - 16:01
BRICS bank grants SA second R14.5bn Covid-19 loan
The New Development Bank of the BRICS group of nations has approved a second $1bn (R14.5bn) loan to SA's government to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the bank said on Thursday.
SA's public finances were in bad shape before Covid-19 struck and have deteriorated since, as it has recorded the most coronavirus cases on the continent and imposed a strict lockdown that shuttered much of its economy.
“The loan will support the government of South Africa in its efforts to contain the economic fallout of the pandemic and start economic recovery,” the bank said in a statement.
April 08 2021 - 12:00
Covid-19: Western Cape out of the woods for now, but vigilance still required
The Western Cape has navigated its way out of the second Covid-19 wave, with the province now hitting a “stable low” on the graph that shows the dip between waves.
Head of the health department in the province Dr Keith Cloete, addressing a virtual media briefing on Thursday, said there were 756 patients in acute hospitals in the province, with Covid-19 and PUI (people under investigation) cases making up just 5% of all available acute hospital capacity.
April 08 2021 - 12:00
Universities' Covid-19 infections being contained, officials signal
The ministry of higher education, science and innovation says the cluster investigation team has been conducting Covid-19 screening, contact tracing and testing at 16 residences at the University of Pretoria (UP).
To date, 342 contacts have been identified and 100 students have tested positive, it said.
Higher education minister Blade Nzimande had said on Friday he was concerned about pockets of Covid-19 outbreaks at some tertiary institutions, which had the potential to trigger a third wave of infections.
April 08 2021 - 10:35
Data shows that booze bans don't work, says drinks industry
SA’s drinks industry wants the government to reconsider future alcohol bans on the grounds that bans do not work but instead put livelihoods at risk.
The industry’s call comes in the wake of new data published on Thursday that claims there is no evidence the alcohol bans implemented during lockdown worked to reduce the number of trauma admissions to hospitals or that they curbed the spread of Covid-19.
April 08 2021 - 08:16
Much-loved Gqeberha doctor dies after Covid-linked lung transplant
One of the first Covid-19 patients to receive a lung transplant in SA has died.
Much-loved Gqeberha anaesthetist Dr Michiel Botha underwent the ground-breaking surgery in February.
Johannesburg’s Mbali Mbatha, 27, was the other patient to undergo the surgery and left the hospital in March with her baby daughter.
April 08 2021 - 07:50
Brazil detects first case of SA variant, grave shortage looms as death toll soars
Brazil has recorded its first confirmed case of the highly contagious coronavirus variant discovered in SA, a fresh danger sign for a country already ravaged by the world's worst daily death toll and scrambling to make space for burials.
Scientists warned on Wednesday that yet another new variant could be emerging in Brazil's inland city of Belo Horizonte.
April 08 2021 - 07:00
India reports record 126,789 new Covid-19 cases
India reported a record-high 126,789 new COVID-19 cases, health ministry data showed on Thursday, with much of the country struggling to contain a second surge in coronavirus infections.
Deaths rose by 685, taking the tally to 166,862, the data showed.
India's overall caseload reached 12.9 million, the third-most affected globally, behind the United States and Brazil.