COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 167 new Covid-19 deaths as cases jump by more than 3,500

19 May 2021 - 07:00 By TimesLIVE
Senior citizen, Samuel Majenge (79) vaccinated at the Munsieville Care for the Aged in Krugersdorp as phase 2 of the vaccine rollout kicked off on May 17 2021.
Senior citizen, Samuel Majenge (79) vaccinated at the Munsieville Care for the Aged in Krugersdorp as phase 2 of the vaccine rollout kicked off on May 17 2021.
Image: Sebabatso Mosamo/Sunday Times

May 19 2021 - 21:52

SA records more than 3,500 new Covid-19 cases as positivity rate climbs to nearly 9%

There were 3,522 new Covid-19 cases recorded across SA in the past 24 hours, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said.

The new infections came from 40,355 tests, at a positivity rate of 8.72%. The government has previously flagged the 10% and 12% positivity rates as cause for concern.

Mkhize also reported that there were 167 new Covid-19 related deaths, as provinces “are back capturing data as far back as December 2020 as part of their Covid-19 mortality audits”.

May 19 2021 - 18:32

Gauteng health MEC tests positive for Covid-19 but symptoms 'not severe'

Gauteng health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi is self-isolating at home after she tested positive for Covid-19.

The Gauteng government said on Wednesday that Mokgethi presented with mild symptoms before she went to test on Tuesday. Provincial government spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga said Mokgethi was not exhibiting any severe symptoms and would remain in isolation for 10 days.

Mokgethi was one of the first people to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine under the Sisonke Programme in Gauteng.

May 19 2021 - 15:57

Scheduling glitch led to Discovery allowing limited walk-in Covid-19 jabs

Medical aid scheme Discovery said a scheduling glitch led to limited walk-in Covid-19 vaccinations offered to people over 70 on Wednesday at its vaccine site in Sandton.

It confirmed in a statement that the national electronic vaccination data system (EVDS) was up and running and scheduling recipients as usual.

“Any comments attributed to Discovery about EVDS not working are false and misplaced,” it said.

May 19 2021 - 11:49

Alcohol group says restrict access to booze now and avoid a total ban on sales

It is just before lunch time outside the Lyttelton post office in Centurion, Tshwane, where more than two dozen people are standing in a queue under the scorching sun.

After queuing for hours to receive the R350 social relief of distress grant, the desperate and poor who rely on the money to put food on the table were told they would not receive their grants because the facility had ran out money. 

The message was met with rage as this meant many would have to borrow taxi fare to travel to the post office to try their luck on another day. It was a message that spelt doom for some of the desperate beneficiaries.  

May 19 2021 - 11:48

Vaccine rollout to those over 60 in Nelson Mandela Bay off to a slow start

The rolling out of phase 2 of the Covid-19 vaccine programme in Nelson Mandela Bay was not without glitches, with one senior citizen — who had come prepared to queue for a long time — turned away.

Arriving with his camp chair, Roelof Wilsnach, 63, of Beachview was ready to be inoculated after he received a text message confirming his appointment at the Provincial Hospital in Kariega on Monday.

However, he said he was told by the security guard at the gate to leave as he would not receive the jab.

May 19 2021 - 11:46

Getting the R350 Covid-19 grant is a daily struggle

It is just before lunch time outside the Lyttelton post office in Centurion, Tshwane, where more than two dozen people are standing in a queue under the scorching sun.

After queuing for hours to receive the R350 social relief of distress grant, the desperate and poor who rely on the money to put food on the table were told they would not receive their grants because the facility had ran out money. 

The message was met with rage as this meant many would have to borrow taxi fare to travel to the post office to try their luck on another day. It was a message that spelt doom for some of the desperate beneficiaries.  

May 19 2021 - 11:42

Education department suspends contact sports in schools as Covid-19 numbers rise

All contact sports in schools is suspended with immediate effect from Wednesday.

This is the word from the council of education ministers after their virtual meeting. The council said it had taken the decision amid a surge in coronavirus infections since schools reopened for the second term.

“During the last week of term one, school sports activity-related Covid-19 outbreaks in Gauteng were reported and have been gradually increasing in term two. It is evident that despite following the protocols as guided by the directions on extramural activities and standard operating procedure on the prevention, containment and management of Covid-19 in schools, contact sports events still contribute to the spread of Covid-19,” read a statement from the council.

May 19 2021 - 10:15

World has entered stage of 'vaccine apartheid' - WHO head

The world has reached a situation of "vaccine apartheid", World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, and was no longer just at risk of that status.

"The big problem is a lack of sharing. So the solution is more sharing," he told a virtual Paris Peace Forum event.

Earlier, he called on Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers to make shots available to the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility sooner than planned due to a supply shortfall left by Indian export disruptions.

Reuters

May 19 2021 - 08:47

IN QUOTES | Mobile sites, load-shedding and side-effects: Zweli Mkhize's update on vaccine rollout

Health minister Zweli Mkhize explained the vaccination process during a briefing at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

He was joined by provincial health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu to launch phase two of the Covid-19 inoculation programme.

The second phase targets healthcare workers who did not receive the jab during phase one under the Sisonke programme and citizens over the age of 60. 

May 19 2021 - 08:45

Sudan bans travellers from India, imposes other Covid-19 restrictions

Sudan will restrict all travellers who have visited India within the two weeks, the country's health emergency committee said in a statement.

India's total Covid-19 caseload topped 25 million on Tuesday, and there are concerns about the spread of a new, highly infectious B.1.617 variant, first found there.

Sudan's health emergency committee also warned that total Covid-19 cases in the African country could top the 100,000 mark by mid-June if restrictions were not imposed.

May 19 2021 - 08:00

Taiwan gets 400,000-dose vaccine boost as Covid cases rise

Taiwan will get 400,000 more AstraZeneca Plc Covid-19 doses on Wednesday from the COVAX global sharing programme, the government said, as it faces a dwindling supply of shots during a spike in domestic infections.

Taiwan has reported almost 1,000 new infections during the past week or so, leading to new curbs in the capital, Taipei, and shocking a population that had become accustomed to life carrying on almost normally.

But its stock of vaccines is rapidly falling. It has only received a little more than 300,000 to date, all from AstraZeneca Plc. At least two-thirds of those have been distributed.

Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng told reporters that the roughly 400,000 additional doses would arrive in Taiwan on Wednesday afternoon from Amsterdam.

The shots are coming from COVAX, which distributes vaccines to lower-income countries, Lo said.

Reuters

May 19 2021 - 07:30

Study shows AstraZeneca vaccine works well as third booster

A study has found that AstraZeneca Plc and Oxford University's Covid-19 vaccine works well as a third booster jab, the Financial Times newspaper said on Wednesday.

An upcoming study by Oxford University showed that a third dose of the vaccine boosted antibodies to the coronavirus spike protein among participants, it added.

Reuters

May 19 2021 - 07:00

'Vaccines are safe and work, but take a minimum of 14 days for immunity to develop': Mkhize

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