COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | SA says consensus reached for talks on pandemic treaty

25 May 2021 - 18:38 By TimesLIVE
Myanmar migrant workers share food as they have been stuck for two weeks due to lockdown measures after more than a thousand cases were detected in the workers' dormitory in Bangkok, Thailand on May 24 2021.
Myanmar migrant workers share food as they have been stuck for two weeks due to lockdown measures after more than a thousand cases were detected in the workers' dormitory in Bangkok, Thailand on May 24 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

May 25 2021 - 20:52

Step down, AfriForum tells Zweli Mkhize over Digital Vibes saga

AfriForum wants health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize to step aside until the Special Investigating Unit has finalised its probe into the Digital Vibes saga.

The organisation said it wanted the probe into Mkhize's alleged knowledge of the claimed corruption and looting of public funds by the company, which is linked to him.

AfriForum said it had submitted a complaint to the public protector on Tuesday, and requested Mkhize to step aside.

May 25 2021 - 18:51

Opposition MPs criticise termination of R350 grant — 'a lifeline for many'

Opposition parties have criticised the government for stopping the R350 social relief of distress grant which was introduced to address poverty at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown last year.

This as social development minister Lindiwe Zulu tabled her department's R205bn budget for the 2021/22 financial year on Tuesday.

She said the allocated budget was a reduction of R6.5bn from the initial allocation of the 2020/21 medium-term strategic framework, which will culminate into cumulative reduction of R38.5bn over the next three years.

May 25 2021 - 18:12

Cape vaccine registration shut down thanks to fake health workers jumping queue

Online vaccine registration for health workers in the Western Cape was shut down at midnight on Monday because people fraudulently claimed they were health workers and registered on the system.

Dr Keith Cloete, head of health in the province, announced this at a briefing of the province’s ad hoc committee on Covid-19 on Tuesday afternoon.

He said: “The saddest thing we have learnt in our first week is that some people under 60 years of age abused the system. They fraudulently enrolled as health workers to jump the queue. So since midnight yesterday [Monday], that channel for registration has been closed, and only those over 60 can register online. The system will now block you from registering if your ID number shows you are below 60.”

May 25 2021 - 17:33

Italy reports 166 coronavirus deaths, 3,224 new cases

Italy reported 166 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday against 110 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 3,224 from 2,490.

Italy has registered 125,501 deaths linked to Covid-19 since its outbreak emerged in February last year, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain and the seventh-highest in the world. The country has reported 4.2 million cases to date.


May 25 2021 - 17:08

SA says consensus reached for year-end talks on pandemic treaty

SA said on Tuesday that consensus has been reached to hold a special session of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) decision-making body from November 29 to December 1 to consider negotiating a new international treaty on pandemic preparedness.

SA's delegation, speaking on behalf of 26 countries sponsoring the resolution, told the WHO's annual ministerial assembly: "Probably the most important lesson Covid-19 has taught us is the need for stronger and more agile collective defences against health threats as well as for building resilience to address future potential pandemics.

"A new pandemic treaty is central to this."


May 25 2021 - 16:34

US closes in on 50% adult vaccination rate as cases ebb

More than half of all American adults have been vaccinated against Covid-19, the White House said, roughly six weeks before US President Joe Biden's July 4 goal of a 70% inoculation rate.

The halfway mark comes as federal, state and local leaders press ahead with delivering Covid-19 shots to people who have not yet received them, while also battling vaccination hesitancy, fears and misinformation.

"Now, with another week left in May, half of all US adults are fully vaccinated," White House senior Covid-19 adviser Andy Slavitt tweeted overnight.

New coronavirus infections nationwide have settled into a sustained decline as more people become vaccinated.


May 25 2021 - 12:00

India posts lowest rise in daily Covid-19 cases since April 14

India on Tuesday posted 196,427 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, its lowest daily rise in infections since April 14, while deaths from Covid-19 rose by 3,511.

The country's overall caseload now stands at 26.95 million, while total fatalities are at 307,231, according to health ministry data.

Barely 3% of the country's 1.3 billion people have been vaccinated, the lowest rate among the 10 countries with the most Covid-19 cases, leaving India and its ill-equipped healthcare system vulnerable to a potential third wave, experts say.

May 25 2021 - 11:58

Tracking Covid-19’s long-term effects on athletes

Split seconds after Rikenette Steenkamp pushed off the blocks, she knew she was in trouble. The after-effects of Covid-19 held her body back as she navigated her way over 10 barriers in her favourite event, the 100m hurdles, at the SA Senior Track and Field National Championships in Pretoria in April. 

Nearly four months after Steenkamp had recovered from the virus, she was still experiencing lingering symptoms that have not only put her Olympic dreams in jeopardy, but also her long-term health. 

“When you get a scare like this, you are no longer fighting to get into a final. You are fighting for your life,” said Steenkamp nearly a month after the race. “You get perspective of the bigger picture and, in a way, I have to process the loss because I was 100% fine last year.”

May 25 2021 - 07:00

'There'll be another virus with the potential of being more transmissible and deadlier than this one': Ghebreyesus