COVID-19 WRAP | SA records nearly 281 Covid-19 related deaths

10 September 2021 - 06:10 By TimesLIVE
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A resident receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the community health center vaccination site in the Khayelitsha township of Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.
A resident receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the community health center vaccination site in the Khayelitsha township of Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.
Image: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg

September 10 2021 - 20:55

Failure to vaccinate may turn Africa into fertile ground for new Covid-19 variants, scientists warn

Africa must not be left behind in the global response to Covid-19 and vaccination rollouts, lest the continent becomes a breeding ground for new variants.

This is the stern warning from African scientists and public health specialists, who have been conducting genomic surveillance on the continent since the arrival of the coronavirus early in 2020.

The scientists from various universities in SA, who have been working closely with the Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC) said that even though the continent has played a crucial role in analysis of different variants that have been doing the rounds in the world, guiding the global public health response, Africa has been lagging behind in its response compared to other parts of the world.

September 10 2021 - 19:11

SA records 5,885 new Covid-19 cases as positivity rate drops to 10%

SA recorded 5,885 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, but it was encouraging that the positivity rate - the number of new infections compared to the number of tests in the same period - declined towards a single-figure percentage.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Friday that the new infections came at a 10.3% positivity rate.

This comes after the NICD has, twice this week, commented on the fact that the number of cases being recorded across SA was on the decline - though it said that this didn't mean that the country's citizens could become complacent.

September 10 2021 - 12:17

Lockdown lifted at Ohio air force base after active shooting report

Wright-Patterson Air Force base in Ohio has lifted a lockdown that was imposed late on Thursday after reports of an active shooter at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center of the base.

“Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have given the All Clear. Lockdown has been lifted. When more information is available we will share it here,” 88th Airbase Wing said in a tweet  early on Friday.

No injuries were reported and no evidence of gunshots had been found, base spokesperson Bob Purtiman told WDTN TV channel, a local affiliate of NBC, adding that the report of the threat was “credible”.

September 10 2021 - 08:40

Digital vaccination certificates just a week away, says health ministry

A week from now, all vaccinated South Africans will be eligible for a digital vaccination certificate, which the department of health says is “now under development”.

On Friday morning, health minister Dr Joe Phaahla said, “We have commenced with the development of the digital vaccination certificate which will be protected from fraud.”

He said the new certificates will be uploadable on a smartphone and will be printable too.

September 10 2021 - 08:01

Africa gets major boost in efforts to track and trace Covid-19 changes

For Africa to get on top of Covid-19 - and potentially other diseases in the future - being able to track and sequence pathogens is going to be key.

New disease variants, as shown by Covid-19's Delta, can change the course of pandemics, and identifying these changes is vital.

To this end, the continent received a huge boost on Thursday, with the announcement of a centre by the SA National Bioinformatics Institute (Sanbi), with support from the World Health Organisation.

September 10 2021 - 07:59

WATCH LIVE | Joe Phaahla gives update on Covid-19 response and vaccine rollout plan

Health minister Joe Phaahla is on Friday giving an update on government's Covid-19 response strategy and the vaccine rollout plan.

On Thursday the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported that SA had recorded 6,270 new Covid-19 cases and 175 deaths.

This, the institute said, pointed to a “sustained downward trend” in the latest coronavirus surge countrywide.

September 10 2021 - 07:57

More than 5-million new people applied for the R350 grant this time around

As the country continues to battle raging unemployment and the after-effects of riots in KZN and Gauteng, more than 5-million people who had not previously applied for the R350 special relief of distress grant applied when it reopened last month.

So far more than 12-million applications for the grant have been made, with channels to apply congested from the moment they opened in early August.

Fanie Sethokga, General Manager for Grants Operations at Sassa, told SAfm this week that more than 5-million people who had previously not applied had done so this time around.

September 10 2021 - 07:15

Biden aims new rules at unvaccinated

President Joe Biden took aim at vaccine resistance in America, announcing policies requiring most federal employees to get Covid-19 shots and pushing large employers to have their workers vaccinated or tested weekly.

September 10 2021 - 07:00

Can I catch Covid-19 from bank notes and coins?

You don’t need to worry about spreading or catching Covid-19 with cash, paper or coin.  

The risk of catching Covid-19 from paper money or bank cards is low compared to person-to-person contact. 

This is according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The centre, however, suggests using touch-free payment methods such as paying over the phone or online when purchasing goods. 

September 10 2021 - 07:00

'My illness has worked out for good': Covid-19 anti-vaxxer becomes jab activists after spending six weeks in ICU

A severe Covid-19 infection left anti-vaxxer Vanessa Joubert on a ventilator in ICU for 42 days, and led to her and her husband becoming vaccine advocates.

September 10 2021 - 06:48

Dhlomo urges MPs to use election campaign to encourage SA to get vaccinated

Deputy minister of health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo has told parliament that the upcoming local government elections are not going to negatively affect the country’s vaccination programme. 

“We have actually understood that the local government elections preparations is a very important campaign that must go parallel with our vaccine programme,” said Dhlomo on Thursday evening.

Dhlomo, together with other senior department officials, was updating parliament’s portfolio committee on health on the vaccine rollout programme and vaccines acquisition.

September 10 2021 - 06:15

Be sports and vaccinate, students, or tertiary bodies may make life prickly

In a bid to encourage students to inoculate, those who are unvaccinated could be asked to produce a negative Covid-19 test result before being allowed entry into higher education institutions.

And universities, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and Community Education and Training (CET) colleges have been asked to think of innovative ways of rewarding students who take the vaccine.

September 10 2021 - 06:10

‘Africa must vaccinate quickly because it’s not winning the Covid battle’

As the severe third wave of Covid-19 in Africa subsides, six countries have “unfortunately now entered a fourth wave of infections”, said Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr John Nkengasong, at his weekly update on Thursday. Algeria, Benin, Kenya, Mauritius, Somalia and Tunisia are now battling the next surge of cases.

“This is a virus that is ahead of us,” he said. “We are not winning the battle in Africa, let us be very clear ... we need to vaccinate quickly.”

By Thursday, 7,97-million Covid-19 cases and 201,296 deaths had been reported in Africa.

September 10 2021 - 06:00

Despite suffering, most Gautengers happy with state’s response to pandemic

The economic impact caused by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has been extensive, with many workers having their salaries and working hours reduced or lost jobs.

These are some of the findings by the Gauteng City-Regions Observatory’s (GCRO) Quality of Life Survey, which highlighted the substantial and profound impact that Covid-19 has had on overall quality of life, health and wellbeing of residents in the Gauteng city-region.

The GCRO’s survey is one of the largest and longest running social surveys in SA. It is conducted biennially, through face-to-face interviews — with a sample size of 13,616 in its current iteration.

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