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COVID-19 WRAP | SA Covid-19 death toll rises to 82,496

01 September 2021 - 05:30 By TimesLIVE
People wearing protective face masks queue up to receive a vaccine dose against the coronavirus disease during a mass vaccination program at a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 31, 2021.
People wearing protective face masks queue up to receive a vaccine dose against the coronavirus disease during a mass vaccination program at a shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 31, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

September 01 2021 - 21:40

SA records 9,500 Covid-19 cases and 235 deaths in 24 hours

SA recorded 9,544 new Covid-19 infections and 235 deaths in the past 24 hours, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Wednesday.

This means that there have been 2,787,203 confirmed cases and 82,496 fatalities to date.

September 01 2021 - 20:26

Presidency considers making SIU's Digital Vibes report public

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into the Digital Vibes scandal could be made public, with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office confirming that he is mulling over it and has started contacting implicated individuals.

This is to give them an opportunity to have a say if they object to the report being made public.

In a statement on Wednesday, the presidency said the third-party notices that had been sent to companies and individuals involved is in the interest of keeping the public abreast of developments in the investigation.

September 01 2021 - 16:21

SA in discussions about Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines

SA’s health products regulator may authorise the use of Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines if the jabs pass stringent safety and efficacy requirements.

Briefing parliament’s health portfolio committee on Wednesday, SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) CEO Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela said the authority had received two applications to roll out the Russian vaccine.

“I can say with confidence that we have engaged with these applicants,” she said in response to a question on whether the vaccine would be used in SA’s battle against Covid-19.

September 01 2021 - 15:33

Winde pushes for looser lockdown as Western Cape passes third-wave peak

The Western Cape lockdown must be eased as the third wave of Covid-19 declines, says premier Alan Winde.

“I will petition the president to move the Western Cape down a level to alert level 2 as soon as possible,” Winde said on Wednesday as active cases in the province fell by 21% in a week.

“This will enable the weekend sale of alcohol, a later curfew and an adjustment to the size of gatherings permitted. It's essential for job creation in our province, especially in our hospitality and events sector as we approach our tourism season.”

September 01 2021 - 15:31

Zweli Mkhize could face criminal charges relating to Digital Vibes: SIU

Former health minister Zweli Mkhize could face criminal charges for his role in the controversial Digital Vibes contract.

In a presentation to standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) said Mkhize may have committed actions of criminality and failed to execute his function in compliance with the constitution, general oversight responsibilities in respect of the affairs of the national health department and obligations in terms of Section 63 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

September 01 2021 - 14:02

WATCH | C.1.2 variant: What is it and should we be worried?

South African scientists have identified a new coronavirus variant that shares many mutations with some of the world’s most dominant strains, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it does not seem to be spreading.

On Monday the National Institute for Communicable Diseases shared information about the new Covid-19 variant, named C.1.2, which was recently detected and confirmed.

The Delta variant still predominates in SA, with C.1.2 detected at a low frequency. It has become more common, but is present in fewer than 3% of samples.

Where and when was it first discovered, should we be concerned and do current vaccines work? We explain it all.

September 01 2021 - 13:58

Could venom from this South American viper become a weapon in battle against Covid-19?

Brazilian researchers have found that a molecule in the venom of a type of snake inhibited coronavirus reproduction in monkey cells, a possible first step towards a drug to combat the virus causing Covid-19.

A study published in the scientific journal Molecules this month found that the molecule produced by the jararacussu pit viper inhibited the virus's ability to multiply in monkey cells by 75%.

“We were able to show this component of snake venom was able to inhibit a very important protein from the virus,” said Rafael Guido, a University of Sao Paulo professor and an author of the study.

September 01 2021 - 07:02

Can I take the Pfizer dose first and a different Covid-19 vaccine for my second dose?

At this time, the “mixing and matching” of Covid-19 vaccines is not recommended in SA.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the national health laboratory service, recommends taking two doses from the same vaccine provider.

For example, if you receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for the first dose, make sure to receive the same vaccine for the second dose. It is important to stick with one vaccine from one provider.

September 01 2021 - 06:55

'Dogs were depressed during lockdown,' research by grade 6 pupil finds

Dogs have gone through tremendous behavioural change and felt depressed during the hard lockdowns, as owners couldn’t freely walk them.

These were findings of research done by 12-year-old Gqeberha-based Aidan Miltz, of Theodor Herzl High School. His research project won a gold award in the animal sciences category at the Eastern Cape Eskom Young Scientists Awards.

The grade 6 pupil said he had never in his wildest dreams thought he would be selected for the fair.

September 01 2021 - 05:30

Vaccines alone can’t stop Covid-19, but if we all vaccinate we can make a difference: WHO