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COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 931 new confirmed cases of Covid-19

11 April 2021 - 05:57 By TimesLIVE
Tourists visit the Colossi of Memnon (not pictured), the ruins of two stone statues that guarded the mortuary temple built for Pharaoh Amenhotep III, amid the coronavirus disease pandemic in the West Bank of Luxor, Egypt, on April 10 2021.
Tourists visit the Colossi of Memnon (not pictured), the ruins of two stone statues that guarded the mortuary temple built for Pharaoh Amenhotep III, amid the coronavirus disease pandemic in the West Bank of Luxor, Egypt, on April 10 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

April 11 2021 - 21:18

Top US diplomat criticizes China, says 'need to get to the bottom' of Covid-19 origin

China's failure to provide access to global health experts made the Covid-19 pandemic worse than it had to be, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Sunday, and it was important to "get to the bottom" of the origin of the novel coronavirus.

The top US diplomat's sharp words underscored criticism from other members of the Biden administration over Beijing's lack of transparency in the crucial early days of the pandemic.

China did not give access to international experts or share information in real time to provide true transparency, Blinken said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press."\


April 11 2021 - 20:48

SA records 931 new confirmed cases of Covid-19

SA recorded 931 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative number of cases in the country to 1,558,458.

Dr Zweli Mkhize announced 66 Covid-19 related deaths, SA's national death toll totals 53,322. 

The number of recoveries to date is 1,483,296 with a 95% recovery rate. 

April 11 2021 - 18:21

SA variant may evade protection from Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says

The coronavirus variant discovered in SA may evade the protection provided by Pfizer/BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is very low and the research has not been peer reviewed.

The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for Covid-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease.

It matched age and gender, among other characteristics.

April 11 2021 - 17:49

UK nears 40 million first and second vaccine doses

The UK distributed a further 586,339 Covid-19 vaccines, taking the total amount to almost 40 million, according to daily data published on Sunday.

The UK has now given 32.12 million people a first dose of the vaccine and 7.47 million a second dose, putting it on track to start reopening its economy.

The data also showed that a further 1,730 people had tested positive for the virus, down from 2,589 the day before, while seven people had died within 28 days of a positive test, down from 40 on Saturday.


April 11 2021 - 16:42

China considering mixing Covid-19 vaccines to boost protection rate

China's top disease control official has said the country is formally considering mixing Covid-19 vaccines, as a way of further boosting vaccine efficacy.

Available data shows Chinese vaccines lag behind others including Pfizer and Moderna in terms of efficacy, but require less stringent temperature controls during storage.

The currently available vaccines “don't have very high rates of protection”, Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a conference in the Chinese city of Chengdu on Saturday.

April 11 2021 - 15:21

In Covid-19 vaccination pivot, Canada targets frontline workers

Canada is shifting its vaccination campaign to target frontline workers, moving away from a largely age-based rollout as the country tries to get a handle on the raging third wave of the pandemic.

Canada's approach thus far has left unvaccinated many so-called "essential workers," like daycare providers, bus drivers and meatpackers, all of whom are among those at higher risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Provinces are now trying to adjust their strategy to tackle the surge driven by new variants.


April 11 2021 - 14:33

French lawmakers approve a ban on short domestic flights

French lawmakers voted late on Saturday to abolish domestic flights on routes than can be covered by train in under two-and-a-half hours, as the government seeks to lower carbon emissions even as the air travel industry reels from the global pandemic.

The measure is part of a broader climate bill that aims to cut French carbon emissions by 40% in 2030 from 1990 levels, though activists accuse President Emmanuel Macron of watering down earlier promises in the draft legislation.

The vote came days after the state said it would contribute to a 4 billion euro ($4.76 billion) recapitalisation of Air France, more than doubling its stake in the flagcarrier, to shore up its finances after over a year of Covid-19 travel curbs.


April 11 2021 - 14:20

India bans exports of anti-viral drug Remdesivir as Covid-19 cases surge

India said on Sunday it had banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients after a record spike in Covid-19 cases sent demand surging.

"In light of the above, Government of India has prohibited the exports of Injection Remdesivir and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) till the situation improves," the health ministry said in a statement.

Seven Indian companies have licensed the drug from Gilead Sciences, with an installed capacity of about 3.9 million units per month.


April 11 2021 - 09:07

S.Korea to resume wider use of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, exclude people under 30

South Korean authorities said on Sunday they will move ahead with a coronavirus vaccination drive this week, after deciding to continue using AstraZeneca PLC's vaccine for all eligible people 30 years old or over.

South Korea on Wednesday suspended providing the AstraZeneca shot to people under 60 as Europe reviewed cases of blood clotting in adults.

People under 30 will still be excluded from the vaccinations resuming on Monday because the benefits of the shot do not outweigh the risks for that age group, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said in a statement.

April 11 2021 - 06:15

Number of vaccinated health-care workers in SA approaching 300,000 mark