COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 1,500 new Covid-19 cases, 42 deaths in 24 hours: NICD

20 September 2021 - 06:00 By TimesLIVE
A secondary school student receives a dose of the Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at a school, in Putrajaya, Malaysia, September 20, 2021.
A secondary school student receives a dose of the Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at a school, in Putrajaya, Malaysia, September 20, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

September 20 2021 - 19:27

SA records 1,500 new Covid-19 cases, 42 deaths in 24 hours: NICD

SA recorded just 1,504 Covid-19 cases and 42 deaths in the past 24 hours, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said on Monday.

This was a sign of a “sustained downward trend”, the institute said.

It was also good news that the positivity rate - the number of confirmed cases against the number of tests taken in the same period - was at a low 7%.

September 20 2021 - 16:33

Lindiwe Sisulu welcomes Germany's decision to remove SA from Covid-19 'high-risk' list

Tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu says Germany’s decision to remove SA from its list of Covid-19 “high-risk” countries will boost SA's tourism sector recovery.

“The decision of the German government means that vaccinated travellers from SA no longer need to have an explanation of the purpose of entry and can travel to Germany, subject to the validity of their passport and Schengen visa. This is great news for South Africans who travel for leisure and business.

“We are looking forward to welcoming back German tourists to SA,” Sisulu said.

September 20 2021 - 15:39

Pfizer-BioNTech data shows Covid-19 vaccine safe and protective in children

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Monday their Covid-19 vaccine induced a robust immune response in five to 11-year-olds, and they plan to ask for authorisation to use the vaccine in children in that age range in the US, Europe and elsewhere as soon as possible.

The companies said the vaccine generated an immune response in the five- to 11-year-olds in their phase 2 and 3 clinical trial that matched what they had previously observed in 16 to 25-year-olds. The safety profile was generally comparable to the older age group, they said.

“Since July, paediatric cases of Covid-19 have risen by about 240% in the US, underscoring the public health need for vaccination,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a news release.

September 20 2021 - 11:25

Covid-19 patient expected the worst but has been ‘treated like a queen’ at Durban state facility

Sponge baths, warm towels, caring doctors and nurses and first-class infrastructure.

That’s what Durban mother Khabo Sithole has received since she was hospitalised at Clairwood Hospital, a state facility in Durban, after falling severely ill with Covid-19.

Sithole said in a widely liked Facebook post she was expecting “minimal levels of care and service” at a government hospital. 

September 20 2021 - 10:00

Want to change your R350 payment method? Now you can do so any day of the month

Beneficiaries of the R350 social relief of distress grant can change their payment method on any day of the month

The SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) announced the changes over the weekend.

This comes after the agency announced earlier this month that applicants for the grant can change their method of payment for their money to be paid into a bank account.

September 20 2021 - 08:00

Are we vaccinating to reach herd immunity?

Prof Shabir Madhi says reaching herd immunity is not the reason for vaccinating people against Covid-19. 

Madhi, who sits on the Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee and is also heading the SA vaccine trials, said people must get jabbed to prevent severe illness and death.

“We need to stop talking about herd immunity because it’s not going to materialise with Covid-19. That is not the reason we are vaccinating. To achieve herd immunity, about 85% of the population would need to develop immunity against infection, not against severe disease, and that is extremely unlikely.

September 20 2021 - 07:00

SA’s excess deaths: what is known and where the gaps are


September 20 2021 - 06:35

New Zealand's Auckland Covid-19 restrictions eased slightly

Coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand's largest city Auckland will be eased slightly from Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference.

The city, which is at the centre of the latest Delta variant outbreak, will move to alert level 3 from alert level 4 starting midnight on Tuesday, Ardern said.

Schools and offices will still remain closed at level 3 but businesses can operate contactless services.

The rest of the country will remain at alert level 2, she said. 


September 20 2021 - 06:00

Key data on Covid-19 boosters weeks away, Fauci says

Top infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that data on booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson &Johnson Covid-19 vaccines is ‘a couple to a few weeks away,’ as officials signaled they expected boosters would ultimately be recommended for most Americans.