COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 90 new Covid-19 deaths in past 24 hours
May 10 2021 - 23:09
SA records 1,129 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours
SA recorded 1,129 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhzie said on Monday.
There were also 90 new Covid-19 related deaths recorded in the same period.
This means that there have been 1,597,724 total confirmed cases across SA to date, and 54,825 total fatalities.
May 10 2021 - 20:06
WHO classifies India variant as being of global concern
The World Health Organization said on Monday that the coronavirus variant first identified in India last year was being classified as a variant of global concern, with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.
The B.1.617 variant is the fourth variant to be designated as being of global concern and requiring heightened tracking and analysis. The others are those first detected in Britain, South Africa and Brazil.
"We are classifying this as a variant of concern at a global level," Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on COVID-19, told a briefing. "There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility."
May 10 2021 - 18:12
'The wave is here': Tshwane officials screen and test as Covid-19 infections rise
As a third wave of Covid-19 infections threatens Gauteng, Tshwane has embarked on an outreach campaign in four wards that have been identified as hotspots.
On Monday, the city's healthcare teams visited Wonderboom to test and screen people for the virus as well as reinforce messaging on Covid-19 regulations and compliance. About 50 people were screened at the Wonderboom outreach, said Lindela Mashigo, the city's media relations director.
People were also screened for other chronic diseases, he added.
May 10 2021 - 16:44
'Black fungus' complication adds to India's Covid-19 woes
The Indian government has told doctors to look out for signs of mucormycosis or “black fungus” in Covid-19 patients as hospitals report a rise in cases of the rare but potentially fatal infection.
The state-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said at the weekend that doctors treating Covid-19 patients, diabetics and those with compromised immune systems should watch for early symptoms including sinus pain or nasal blockage on one side of the face, one-sided headache, swelling or numbness, toothache and loosening of teeth.
The disease, which can lead to blackening or discolouration over the nose, blurred or double vision, chest pain, breathing difficulties and coughing blood, is strongly linked to diabetes. And diabetes can in turn be worsened by steroids such as dexamethasone, used to treat severe Covid-19.
May 10 2021 - 12:12
'Cautious hugging' and pints: Boris Johnson to ease England's lockdown
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out on Monday the next phase of lockdown easing in England, giving the green light to “cautious hugging” and allowing pubs to serve customers pints inside after months of strict measures.
The country is gradually lifting its latest lockdown over a period of months, in line with a four-step plan unveiled in February, after a rapid vaccine rollout helped drive down Covid-19 cases and deaths.
Under Step 3, from May 17 people will be allowed to meet up indoors for the first time in months, in groups of up to six people or two full households together.
May 10 2021 - 11:40
Cyril Ramaphosa warns of ‘vaccine apartheid’ if rich countries hog shots
President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday that if wealthy nations hogged Covid-19 shots while millions in poor countries died waiting for them, it would amount to “vaccine apartheid”.
SA and India have been pushing for a waiver on some intellectual property (IP) rights for vaccines and medicines at the World Trade Organization. US President Joe Biden backed the proposal last week, though it may still take months to reach a deal.
In his weekly newsletter, Ramaphosa called on South Africans to support the waiver, saying vaccines should be “a global public good”.
May 10 2021 - 10:07
Call for restrictions amid fears of Covid-19 third wave
The ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19 has called for stricter restrictions on people coming into SA as the number of positive cases increase, sparking fears of a third wave and new variants.
Prof Koleka Mlisana, the chairperson of the ministerial advisory council, told Sowetan yesterday that it had already called for the tightening of regulations for people entering SA.
May 10 2021 - 10:06
Four things you need to know: Covid-19 variants detected in India and UK have hit SA shores
New Covid-19 variants, first detected in the UK and India, have hit SA shores.
Eleven cases of the B.1.1.7 variant discovered in the UK and four cases of the B.1.617.2 variant found in India have been detected in SA.
May 10 2021 - 08:48
India's Covid-19 cases dip from peak, calls for shutdown mount
Calls grew for India to impose a nationwide lockdown as new coronavirus cases and deaths held close to record highs on Monday, increasing pressure on the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The health ministry reported 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths, off a little from recent peaks. India's tally of infections now stands at 22.66 million, with 246,116 deaths.
As many hospitals grapple with an acute shortage of oxygen and beds while morgues and crematoriums overflow, experts have said India's actual figures could be far higher than reported.