COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 1,275 new Covid-19 cases

24 November 2021 - 06:25 By TimesLIVE
Eight year-old Angel Sierra gets his coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday at La Colaborativa in Chelsea, Massachusetts, US, November 23, 2021.
Eight year-old Angel Sierra gets his coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday at La Colaborativa in Chelsea, Massachusetts, US, November 23, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Brian Snyder

November 24 2021 - 20:34

1,000 new Covid-19 cases in Gauteng as SA breaches 1,200 mark in 24 hours

New Covid-19 infections are on the rise in Gauteng, with more than 1,000 recorded in the province in the past 24 hours.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Wednesday that there were 1,018 new cases recorded in Gauteng in the past day. On Tuesday, there were 605.

In total across the country, there were 1,275 new cases recorded in the day.

November 24 2021 - 16:22

MPs grill UIF official on Covid-19 Ters payments made to the dead

Members of parliament’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday lambasted an Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) official for not accepting responsibility for Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) payments to deceased people.

Employment and labour minister Thulas Nxesi and UIF officials briefed the committee on progress in implementing corrective measures at the UIF and Compensation Fund.

November 24 2021 - 14:47

Little known cult is new South Korea Covid-19 outbreak as record high cases reported

Little known sect led by a pastor who pokes eyes to heal is at the centre of a Covid-19 outbreak in South Korea, as the country reported a new daily record of 4,116 cases for Tuesday and battles a spike in serious cases straining hospitals.

In a tiny rural church in a town of 427 residents in Cheonan city, south of Seoul, at least 241 people linked to the religious community had tested positive for coronavirus, a city official told Reuters on Wednesday.

November 24 2021 - 13:17

Temporary ban on faith-based gatherings ‘rational, reasonable and justifiable’, court hears

The prohibition of faith-based gatherings due to the promulgation of regulations to curb the spread of Covid-19 in December 2020 and January 2021 was rational, reasonable and justifiable. 

The prohibition of these gatherings did not interfere with the religious convictions of people, and the regulations only temporarily prohibited faith-based gatherings in a physical setting.

These were some of the submissions made by Rusty Mogagabe SC, advocate for  co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the high court in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Mogagabe was responding to arguments presented by counsel for four organisations on Monday and Tuesday in support of their applications to set aside the regulations.

November 24 2021 - 11:41

SA delays Covid-19 vaccine deliveries as inoculations slow

South Africa has asked Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Pfizer to delay delivery of Covid-19 vaccines because it now has too much stock, health ministry officials said, as vaccine hesitancy slows an inoculation campaign.

November 24 2021 - 09:45

More than one-third of Gauteng health workers not fully vaccinated

Despite a high number of Covid-19 infections, 31,521 out of 86,630 health workers employed by the Gauteng health department are not fully vaccinated.

This was revealed in a health department presentation at a meeting of the Gauteng legislature’s health committee on Tuesday, said the DA’s Jack Bloom.

According to the department, 55,109 (64%) of health workers are fully vaccinated.

Since the start of the pandemic, Bloom said, 16,236 health workers have been infected with Covid-19, of whom 1,908 had to be admitted to hospital and 111 died.

November 24 2021 - 08:45

Israeli PM's 9-year-old son gets Covid-19 vaccine

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s youngest son, aged 9, received his first Covid-19 vaccine shot as Israel began rolling out Pfizer/BioNtech vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds.

November 24 2021 - 07:19

Will climate change make Covid-19 worse?

As world leaders clamour to find solutions to a warming planet, experts have cleared the air on how climate change will affect the spread and severity of Covid-19.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is “no evidence of a direct connection between climate change and the emergence or transmission of Covid-19”.​

It acknowledged, however, that climate change may have indirect effects on the spread of the coronavirus through humans changing the natural environment.

November 24 2021 - 06:30

Prince Charles opens new AstraZeneca research center

Britain's Prince Charles formally opened a new $1.3 billion AstraZeneca research and development facility in Cambridge, England. He also viewed an exhibit on the pandemic and a demonstration of how augmented reality headsets can help with lab work

November 24 2021 - 06:00

We anticipate a tsunami in public healthcare: Covid creates dialysis crisis

Almost two years after organ transplants were suspended due to Covid-19, which increases transplant patients’ risks of dying, some public health specialists say it is time to consider reviving this life-saving procedure.

Kidney specialists from two of the Western Cape’s biggest hospitals, Tygerberg and Groote Schuur, said despite the tremendous pressure on public hospitals to treat patients with end-stage kidney disease, severe bottlenecks on the dialysis programme had been worsened by the suspension of kidney transplants. This, with a shortage of dialysis machines, had created an “untenable situation” for doctors and their patients. As a result, dialysis machines were not being freed up, restricting new patients’ access to them.

In a South African Medical Journal (SAMJ) article, nephrologists from these hospitals urged health authorities to relieve the pressure by not only vaccinating dialysis patients against Covid-19, but increasing theatre time and allowing more organ transplants.

One of the concerned nephrologists, Dr Yazied Chothia, who is also a senior lecturer at Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University, said with more medical-insured people losing their jobs, the pool of patients joining the state healthcare sector was expected to increase and put the under-resourced system under severe strain.

“We anticipate a tsunami to hit the public sector in the coming months or years.”

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