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COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 7,759 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours

08 January 2022 - 10:11 By TimesLIVE
Labourers stand and sit in front of the closed shops at a wholesale market after authorities in the capital ordered a weekend curfew, following the rise in the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, in the old quarters of Delhi, India, January 8, 2022.
Labourers stand and sit in front of the closed shops at a wholesale market after authorities in the capital ordered a weekend curfew, following the rise in the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, in the old quarters of Delhi, India, January 8, 2022.
Image: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

January 08 2022 - 20:35

'Lift all Covid-19 restrictions': Julius Malema urges Ramaphosa

EFF leader Julius Malema has urged president Cyril Ramaphosa to lift all Covid-19 restrictions so that entertainment and sports can go back to normal .

He was addressing thousands of party supporters who gathered at the Moses Mabhida’s People’s Park on Saturday.  The gathering also coincided with the ANC’s traditional birthday rally held in Polokwane.

“We want the entertainment industry to open. We want our people to be entertained. We are unemployed. We don’t have money to go to school, pay rent, to buy houses. We need to entertain ourselves from our own poverty,” said Malema.

January 08 2022 - 20:08

SA records 7,759 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours 

SA recorded 7,759 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 3,521,572 since the start of the pandemic.

The number of daily deaths recorded is 119, the cumulative number of Covid related deaths in the country comes to 92,371.

The total number of vaccines administered since the start of the rollout is 28,325,070, with over 15,000 jabs administered in 24 hours and 3,281,447 recoveries.

January 08 2022 - 17:11

LISTEN | Ramaphosa urges government to finalise a policy on the introduction of vaccine mandates

ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the government to finalise vaccine mandates.

January 08 2022 - 14:38

Austrian chancellor says he has no Covid-19 symptoms and 'doing well'

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said on Saturday he was well and had no Covid-19 symptoms after testing positive for the coronavirus this week, vowing to do everything possible to prevent another nationwide lockdown.

Nehammer, a conservative who has received three vaccine shots, has been conducting official business from home via video and telephone conferences since he tested positive.

“Thanks to the vaccine, thank goodness, I'm doing well,” he told Austrian radio in an interview. “I don't have any symptoms.”

“The studies verify that with the Omicron variant, three vaccination doses give particular protection. That's been my experience too,” said Nehammer, who will not attend any public appointments in the next few days.

January 08 2022 - 14:00

Hong kong faces worst of both worlds as omicron ruins covid zero

Hong Kong is at a Covid-19 tipping point. The once-vibrant gateway to China sacrificed its status as an international hub to “Covid Zero,” its strategy for eliminating the virus by isolating itself from a world awash in the pathogen. It worked for nearly a year, keeping residents safe and largely unfettered while raising the tantalizing possibility of reopening the border with China, the city’s economic lifeblood.

Now it’s living with the worst of both worlds, after a couple of imported infections caused by the highly transmissible omicron variant started spreading in the under-vaccinated city, triggering renewed curbs. Residents can no longer go to the gym or the cinema, and the once-ubiquitous banquets where people gathered to celebrate the Chinese New Year were cancelled for another year.

Also gone is the sense of security that stemmed from the city being virus-free, as are scores of expatriates who went back to their home countries for the holidays and now can’t return due to flight bans slapped on eight places including the U.S. and the U.K. The local economy that boomed in 2021 thanks to grounded residents spending more in the city will also take a hit as domestic curbs ramp up.

“It does feel like we made no progress in the past two years,” said Christopher Mark, the co-founder of Black Sheep Restaurants, a high-end hospitality group that offers everything from traditional Chinese meals to Argentinian steaks. He anticipates 60% to 70% of his business will vanish, a deja-vu moment that brings him back to the early days of the pandemic when Covid-19 was a new and mysterious disease. Two years on, it’s a familiar foe with most of the world adjusting to living with the virus.

 But Hong Kong, once known as the most globalized city in Asia, has stood still with a zero-tolerance strategy aligned with mainland China’s. While waves of death and the delta variant have been avoided, the more-transmissible omicron is bringing a reckoning. 

“I’ve never thought that Covid Zero was a feasible strategy,” since it’s impossible to eliminate a respiratory virus that spreads efficiently, said Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security in Baltimore. “Omicron is the variant that’s really going to shatter the idea of Covid Zero for those people who are irrationally holding onto it.”Already, the tentacles of the virus are slithering through the city. About two dozen currently known transmissions in the city have been linked back to international travelers, mainly aircrew members from Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. who were allowed to skip strict quarantine requirements. Health care workers are tracking at least three separate chains of transmission. 

Bloomberg

January 08 2022 - 11:56

Australia treasurer tests positive for Covid-19 as cases hit a record

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he tested positive to Covid-19, joining other top government officials in contracting the disease as the daily infection rate surpassed 100,000 for the first time amid an outbreak of the Omicron variant. 

“Like thousands of Australians, I tested positive today to Covid-19,” Frydenberg wrote in a short message which he posted to Twitter and Facebook late on Friday.

“I have the common symptoms and am isolating with my family,” he added without elaborating or disclosing which variant he had. 

January 08 2022 - 10:50

Dutch scream and smash to vent Covid rage

How do you deal with Covid frustration? Some in the Netherlands are wrecking cars and screaming to vent their rage

January 08 2022 - 10:47

Omicron pushes US hospitalizations toward record high

Covid-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. are on the verge of a new record high as the highly contagious Omicron variant fuels a surge in infections.

January 08 2022 - 10:16

US forces in South Korea raise Covid-19 alert amid record infections

US Forces Korea (USFK) raised its health protection alert on Saturday after posting its highest weekly tally of new coronavirus infections, at 682.

The new cases bring the total infections to 3,027. US forces has said nearly 90% of its soldiers, families and other affiliated people were vaccinated.

In neighbouring Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday the government would tighten curbs in three regions that host US military bases to stem a Covid-19 surge that some officials have said the bases have helped fuel.

January 08 2022 - 10:10

Djokovic prepares Australian visa challenge as vaccine furore mounts

Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic kept a low profile in his third day in Australian immigration detention on Saturday, as a blame game between Australian authorities over handling of Covid-19 vaccine exemptions gathered steam.

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