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COVID-19 WRAP | Covid-19 related deaths climb by 126, nearly 13,000 new cases in one day

30 December 2021 - 06:36 By TIMESLIVE
People queue at a Covid-19 disease testing clinic as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread in Sydney, Australia, on December 30 2021.
People queue at a Covid-19 disease testing clinic as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus continues to spread in Sydney, Australia, on December 30 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Nikki Short

December 30 2021 - 21:20

Cabinet lifts curfew with immediate effect

SA's curfew has been lifted with immediate effect after a special cabinet meeting on Thursday.

“Based on the trajectory of the pandemic, the levels of vaccination in the country and the available capacity within the health sector,” the cabinet decided to make changes to adjusted alert level 1 with immediate effect, the presidency said in a statement.

December 30 2021 - 19:54

Covid-19 related deaths climb by 126, nearly 13,000 new cases in one day

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) reported an additional 126 Covid-19 related deaths on Thursday. This brings the total fatalities recorded since the pandemic started in SA to 91,061.

“Today the institute reports 12,979 new Covid-19 cases that have been identified in SA, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,446,532. This increase represents a 28.1% positivity rate,” reported the NICD.

December 30 2021 - 17:24

Presidential co-ordinating council 'wants to scrap curfew'

SA could enter the new year under new Covid-19 regulations that will lift the midnight curfew and ease restrictions on gatherings.

TimesLIVE can reveal that the presidential co-ordinating council (PCC) meeting on Thursday recommended to cabinet to do away with some restrictions, but opted to keep the state of disaster despite a push against it by representatives from the DA.

“The PCC agreed to scrap the curfew altogether and increase the number for gatherings from 750 people indoors — the number for outdoor gatherings will remain at 2,000 but the country will remain under the national state of disaster,” an insider who attended the meeting said.

December 30 2021 - 16:38

Some nations rethink isolation, testing rules as Omicron sweeps globe

Global Covid-19 infections hit a record high over the past seven-day period, Reuters data showed on Wednesday, as the Omicron variant raced out of control and governments tried to contain its spread without paralysing fragile economies.

Almost 900,000 cases were detected on average each day around the world between December 22 and 28, with myriad countries posting new all-time highs in the previous 24 hours, including the US, Australia, many in Europe and Argentina and Bolivia.

Though studies have suggested Omicron is less deadly than some previous variants, the sheer number of people testing positive mean that hospitals in some countries could soon be overwhelmed, while businesses might struggle to carry on without quarantined workers.

December 30 2021 - 15:40

How can I best teach my child about Covid-19?

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across the globe, it is important that children feel safe, loved, included and supported. Raising children in “the new normal” is difficult and they are often aware of how the world is different because of the pandemic.

According to the UN Children's Fund (Unicef), parents and teachers play a crucial role in educating children about the pandemic and reassuring them.

“Sharing accurate information and science-based facts about Covid-19 will help diminish students’ fears and anxieties around the disease and support their ability to cope with any secondary affects in their lives,” it said of teachers.

December 30 2021 - 14:48

POLL | Should the government scrap the midnight curfew on New Year's Eve?

It remains to be seen whether the government will heed the call by South Africans and politicians for the curfew to be relaxed on New Year's Eve. 

Under alert level 1 lockdown the curfew is from midnight to 4am. Gatherings are limited to no more than 750 people indoors and no more than 2,000 people are allowed to gather outdoors.

December 30 2021 - 14:30

‘If you’re found loitering after midnight on New Year’s Day you’ll be arrested’: Cele

South Africans who break the law on New Year’s Eve will face the full might of the law.

This is the stern warning issued by police minister Bheki Cele ahead of year-end celebrations expected to take place on Friday countrywide.

Two weeks ago President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet retained the lockdown restrictions on adjusted alert level 1, which means the curfew is from midnight to 4am and only 750 people may gather indoors and 2,000 outdoors.

December 30 2021 - 13:43

Dakar Rally hopes dashed as Kirsten Landman tests positive for Covid-19

“Shattered” is how enduro and rally racer Kirsten Landman describes losing out on the 2022 Dakar Originals Malle Moto race.

A week before her flight to Saudi Arabia, Landman, 30, tested positive for Covid-19.

December 30 2021 - 10:44

India's Mumbai bans public gatherings of five or more ahead of NYE celebrations

Indian authorities started to impose stringent rules on Thursday to prevent mass gatherings at parties and public venues ahead of new year celebrations as the nation sees a spike in Covid-19 infections.

Night curfews have been imposed in all major cities and restaurants ordered to limit customers, officials said.

December 30 2021 - 10:29

J&J booster 84% effective against hospitalisation — SA Omicron-era study

A booster dose of Johnson & Johnson Inc's single-dose Covid-19 vaccine was 84% effective at preventing hospitalisation of SA healthcare workers who became infected as the Omicron variant spread, researchers said on Thursday.

The real-world study, which has not been peer-reviewed, was based on a second dose of the J&J vaccine administered to 69,092 workers between November 15 and December 20.

December 30 2021 - 06:34

UK records new record number of Covid cases

The United Kingdom reported 183,037 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, a new record and over 50,000 more than the previous highest figure registered just a day earlier, government statistics showed.

The rise, sparked by the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus, also coincides with an increase in the number of patients in hospital who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Despite the growing number of cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will not bring in new restrictions this year in England to limit the spread of Omicron, which now accounts for 90% of all community infections, according to health officials.

The data, which included five days of figures for Northern Ireland due to differences in reporting practices over the Christmas holidays, showed there had been 57 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, up from 18 on Tuesday. - Reuters

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