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COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 18,847 new cases on Christmas Eve

24 December 2021 - 04:38 By TIMESLIVE
People receive free Covid-19 self testing kits being distributed to the public by the government at the Anacostia public library in Washington, US on December 23 2021.
People receive free Covid-19 self testing kits being distributed to the public by the government at the Anacostia public library in Washington, US on December 23 2021.  
Image: REUTERS/Michael A. McCoy

December 24 2021 – 19:36

SA records almost 19,000 new cases on Christmas Eve as total infections reach nearly 3.4-million

More than 9,100 people will spend at least some of Christmas Day in hospital undergoing treatment for Covid-19 complications, data from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Friday showed.

There were 321 new hospital admissions in the past day, the NICD said, taking the total number of people admitted across SA to 9,129.

The NICD also reported that there were 18,847 new Covid-19 cases recorded on Christmas Eve, taking the total number of confirmed infections to date to 3,393,109.

December 24 2021 – 19:22

Panyaza Lesufi tests positive for Covid-19

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi has tested positive for Covid-19, his department said on Friday.

He was undergoing treatment and was in isolation, said spokesperson Steve Mabona.

December 24 2021 – 16:20

Mabuza urges those sceptical about Covid-19 vaccines to have a rethink

Deputy President David Mabuza used his Christmas message on Friday to encourage those still sceptical about Covid-19 vaccines and their efficacy to rethink their position.

He said during his Christmas message a year ago the country was grappling with a virus it knew little about in terms of how best to respond to its devastating effects.

“We were gripped by fear and uncertainty. Since then our knowledge of this Covid-19 pandemic has improved,” Mabuza said.

December 24 2021 – 15:35

Manchester United must make sure players are vaccinated — Rangnick

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick said the club had to ensure its players were vaccinated following a Covid-19 outbreak that led to the postponement of their last two Premier League games.

“We have to encourage players to behave in a disciplined way with regards to contact. We also need to make sure we have most players vaccinated," Rangnick told reporters.

"As far as I'm aware, we have a high record of vaccinated players in our club." – Reuters

December 24 2021 – 14:44

Covid-19 contact tracing halted, health department announces

The health department has said all Covid-19 contact tracing should be halted with immediate effect, except in “congregational settings and cluster outbreak situations” or self-contained settings.

It said containment strategies “are no longer appropriate” and “mitigation is the only viable strategy”. This is according to an updated memorandum issued by the department and dated December 23.

Health department spokesperson Foster Mohale confirmed to TimesLIVE that the circular, which was being shared on social media, was legitimate.

December 24 2021 – 14:40

Health department insists J&J vaccine is safe, will continue with roll-out

The health department said on Friday it was confident the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Covid-19 vaccine was safe and it would continue administering it throughout the country.

This comes after the US Centers for Disease Control said last week the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines should be used ahead of the J&J version. This is because of fears the J&J shot could, in rare instances, cause blood clots, or thrombosis.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use mRNA technology.

On Friday the SA health department stood by its roll-out of the J&J vaccine, which was the first to be administered in the country under the Sisonke Trial for healthcare and related workers.

December 24 2021 – 10:29

J&J boosters available from Christmas Eve, Pfizer before New Year

The health department is from Friday administering booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

This after the SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) recently approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine as a booster for the primary Pfizer two-dose series. The approval is for vaccination of people six months after the administration of the second dose (or in the case of immunocompromised people who receive an additional primary dose, after their third dose).

Sahpra has also approved the use of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine for boosters of the single dose primary J&J schedule at least two months after primary vaccination.

From Friday, the national vaccination programme will provide J&J booster vaccinations to anyone who received their last dose at least two months earlier (October 24 or before and from then on with at least two months’ interval).

December 24 2021 – 07:13

How do I stay safe while exercising during the pandemic?

It is safe to exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic, but experts have provided safety guidelines.

Social distancing and sanitising are among the health protocols urged by the World Health Organisation while trying to get or stay fit.

Among its suggestions are that you do not exercise if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

December 24 2021 – 05:00

US administers 500-million doses of Covid-19 vaccines - CDC

The United States has administered 500,222,330 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in the country as of Thursday morning and distributed 611,897,975 doses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Those figures are up from the 499,013,558 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by December 22 out of 609,035,545 doses delivered.

The agency said 241,520,561 people had received at least one dose while 204,740,321 people are fully vaccinated as of 6am ET on Thursday.

The CDC tally includes two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, as well as Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine.

Over 64-million people received an additional dose of either Pfizer or Moderna's vaccine since 13, when the US authorised a third dose of the vaccines for people with compromised immune systems who are likely to have weaker protection from the two-dose regimens.- Reuters

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