COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 2,893 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours

23 May 2021 - 06:00 By TimesLIVE
A Bolivian man receives the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), as authorities have started to vaccinate people who make a living crossing the border between Bolivia and Peru, in Desaguadero, Bolivia May 21, 2021.
A Bolivian man receives the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), as authorities have started to vaccinate people who make a living crossing the border between Bolivia and Peru, in Desaguadero, Bolivia May 21, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Claudia Morales /File photo

May 23 2021 - 20:28

SA records 2,893 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours

SA recorded more than 2,800 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total of Covid-19 cases in the country to 1,635,465.

30 more deaths increases the Covid-19 national death toll to 55,802.

According to Dr Zweli Mkhize, "The total vaccinated under the Sisonke Programme is 480,665. These vaccinations were with the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine and are therefore completed vaccinations . The total vaccinated in Phase Two as at midnight today is 167,318." 

May 23 2021 - 16:00

India trying to save vaccines by delaying shots for Covid patients

India is trying to save scarce Covid-19 vaccines by delaying shots for those who have recovered from the disease, the head of a government panel said, adding the campaign should not have been opened to all adults before covering the most vulnerable.

Under fire for his handling of the world's worst rise in coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made all adults eligible for vaccination from May 1.

Vaccine shortages have now forced many regions, including the capital New Delhi, to again prioritise those aged above 45.

May 23 2021 - 14:30

SIU says Bandile Masuku seemingly lacks understanding of its PPE probe against him

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on Sunday moved to quash claims by former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku that his reinstatement by the ANC proves he did nothing wrong in the province’s procurement of PPE last year.

“As these aspects of the statements relate to the SIU findings, the SIU is left with no other option but to set the record straight. If the statements are not corrected, they would have the effect of affecting the credibility of the SIU findings and to mislead the public,” said SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago in a statement. 

Masuku had on Saturday issued a statement saying he was vindicated after the ANC this week announced that its national disciplinary committee (NDC) had overturned his and Khusela Diko’s suspensions from the Gauteng provincial executive committee (PEC). 

May 23 2021 - 12:30

French Covid tracing app downloaded by 25% of the population - minister

France's Covid-19 contact-tracing app has now been downloaded by 16.5 million people, or 24.6% of the French population, the minister for digital affairs said on Sunday, surpassing the minimum level it needed to work efficiently.

The "Tous Anti-Covid" (all against Covid) app, initially launched last June under the name "StopCovid", will grant access to a "health pass" that people can use to attend sports events, festivals and theme parks with large crowds.

This pass, which was approved by French lawmakers earlier this month, will come into effect from June 9. It will provide proof that a person has either been vaccinated against the coronavirus, holds a recent negative PCR test, or is recovering from Covid-19 and therefore has natural antibodies.

Reuters

May 23 2021 - 12:00

India's capital Delhi to ease Covid-19 restrictions as cases drop

India's capital New Delhi will start relaxing its strict coronavirus lockdown next week if new cases continue to drop in the city, its chief minister said on Sunday.

The nation on Sunday reported 240,842 new infections nationwide over 24 hours - the lowest daily new cases in more than a month - and 3,741 deaths.

For weeks, India has battled a devastating second wave of Covid-19 that has crippled its health system and led to shortages of oxygen supplies.

Reuters

May 23 2021 - 11:37

Western Cape ramps up vaccine rollout

The Western Cape plans to ramp up vaccination registration in an attempt to make the process easier for older or vulnerable people who might not have access to technology.

May 23 2021 - 10:50

CureVac works to boost production capacity ahead of expected vaccine approval

Germany's CureVac expects European approval of its COVID-19 vaccine in June at the latest and is working to expand production capacity, the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper quoted a company spokeswoman as saying.

Since starting out in 2000, the biotech company has focused on so-called messenger RNA (mRNA), a drug and vaccine technology that has also become the recent focus of the European Union's procurement negotiations.

The mRNA approach has been validated by the wide use of coronavirus vaccines developed by pioneers BioNTech and its partner Pfizer, as well as by Moderna, in Europe and North America.

Reuters

May 23 2021 - 10:15

Thailand to tighten border controls after detecting South African Covid-19 variant

Thai border controls will tighten after the discovery of three local cases of the South African Covid-19 variant stemming from illegal border crossings, authorities said on Sunday, as the country grapples to contain its worst coronavirus outbreak yet.

The first local case of the South African variant, known as B.1.351, was detected on May 4 in a 32-year-old Thai man after he was visited by family who entered Thailand from Malaysia through an informal border crossing, the director-general of the disease control department said.

Movement of people has been restricted in the affected district and only two other cases of the South African variant, out of 81 cases, have been detected there since the start of May, Opas Karnkawinpong said.

Reuters

May 23 2021 - 08:10

US CDC looking into heart inflammation in some young vaccine recipients

Some teenagers and young adults who received Covid-19 vaccines experienced heart inflammation, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group said, recommending further study of the rare condition.

May 23 2021 - 06:50

Catcalls and jokes after Taiwan's Covid 'regression calibration'

Taiwan's abrupt decision to add 400 new domestic Covid-19 cases has prompted catcalls from opposition politicians and jokes online about fishy statistics, putting the government on the back foot to explain where the number came from.

Taiwan is dealing with a spike in cases after months of keeping the pandemic well under control, with restrictions in place across the island to limit gatherings.

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung announced 721 new domestic infections on Saturday, including 400 infections over the past six days whose positive tests had not been included in previous reports due to a delay following a spike in cases.

Reuters

May 23 2021 - 06:40

China reports 19 new mainland Covid-19 cases vs 10 a day earlier

China reported 19 new Covid-19 cases on May 22, up from 10 cases a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Sunday.

The National Health Commission said in a statement that 18 of the new cases were imported infections. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, was 25, including one local case.

One new local infection was reported in Luan city in the eastern province of Anhui, local health authorities said late Saturday. The patient was a close contact of a previous case and was under centralised quarantine since May 13.

Reuters

May 23 2021 - 06:30

India reports daily rise in coronavirus cases of 240,842

India on Sunday reported 240,842 new coronavirus infections over the last 24 hours and deaths rose by 3,741.

Total infections in the country stood at 26.5 million while the country's total death toll was at 299,266, according to data from the health ministry.

India leads the world in the daily average number of new deaths reported, accounting for one in every three deaths reported worldwide each day, according to a Reuters tally.

Reuters

May 23 2021 - 06:20

Covid-19 deaths in Latin America surpass 1 million as outbreak worsens

The death toll from Covid-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean passed 1 million people on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, with the pandemic worsening in the part of the world with the highest per capita death rate.

May 23 2021 - 06:10

Scramble for vaccine by privileged ‘a sign of coming inequity’

In SA, health-system inequities and the urban-rural divide will haunt the rollout, say experts — and an access row at the University of Cape Town is seen as an indication of things to come.

May 23 2021 - 06:00

Covid-19 vaccine rollout: the hard part's still to come

While the first week of SA's vaccine rollout has been given a tentative thumbs-up, vaccinations and registrations need to be ramped up quickly, say health experts.

More than 117,000 people got the jab this week, as infections continue to soar. Some were health-care workers who had not been vaccinated during the first phase, but most were people over the age of 60.

About 155 public vaccination sites were operating this week, and 22 private sector sites.

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