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COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 4,592 new cases, 161 more deaths

15 January 2022 - 08:57 By TImesLIVE
People wearing protective face masks walk on the street amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Tokyo, Japan, on January 15 2022.
People wearing protective face masks walk on the street amid the Covid-19 pandemic in Tokyo, Japan, on January 15 2022.
Image: REUTERS/Issei Kato

January 15 2022 - 21:35

SA records 4,592 new cases, 161 more deaths

January 15 2022 - 14:55

DA calls on Angie Motshekga to ‘scrap rotational timetables’ in 2022

The DA has called on basic education minister Angie Motshekga to scrap the rotational schooling system and do away with the 1m social distancing rule.

On Thursday DA shadow basic education minister Baxolile Nodada said rotational timetables and social distancing requirements will have far-reaching consequences on pupil development, wellbeing and emotional health.

Nodada said matriculants were at a greater disadvantage as they had lost two years of effective teaching and learning since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

“This year’s matrics have had two years of disrupted schooling and lost more than 50% of their grade 11 year as a result of school regulations under the pandemic,” said Nodada.

January 15 2022 - 10:35

Djokovic back for another night in detention before court hearing

Novak Djokovic will spend Saturday night in immigration detention before the world's tennis number one seeks a court ruling to stop his deportation and keep alive his bid for a record 21st major title at the Australian Open.

Djokovic arrived at Melbourne's Park Hotel, the same immigration detention hotel where he was held last week, just before 3.30pm (0430 GMT), according to a Reuters witness.

About a dozen refugee activists chanted “stop the torture ... let them out” as Djokovic and Border Force guards drove into the underground garage of the hotel, which is also being used to hold 33 asylum seekers and travellers in Covid-19 quarantine. A man cycling past the hotel shouted: “Go home, Novak!”

January 15 2022 - 08:55

Australia nears Omicron peak as daily infections hover around records

Australia has likely neared the peak of its Omicron wave, authorities said on Saturday, but warned daily infections will linger near record levels for "the next few weeks" after more than 100,000 cases were reported for a fourth straight day.

Having limited the spread of the coronavirus through tough restrictions earlier in the pandemic, Australia is now suffering record caseloads from the Omicron variant. Most parts of the country have shifted to a strategy of living with the virus as they reached higher vaccination rates.

More than 1.2-million infections have been recorded this year, compared with 200,000 for 2020 and 2021 combined.

"We are not through it yet and I think there are still going to be large number of cases diagnosed in Australia over the next few weeks," chief health officer Paul Kelly told a news briefing, referring to the Omicron outbreak.

But modelling from some states "leads me to believe that we are close to the peak of this wave in terms of cases," he said.

Infections have dipped over the last three days while the rise in hospitalisations in worst-hit New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, has slowed slightly, official data showed.

Most states are battling record hospitalisations during the Omicron wave, with authorities saying unvaccinated younger people forming a "significant number" of admissions in Australia.

"We are seeing an epidemic of the unvaccinated in young people, we are seeing that in intensive care admissions," Kelly said.

Australia is among the most heavily vaccinated countries against Covid-19, with more than 92% of people above 16 double-dosed, and with a booster drive picking up pace.

A medical exemption for tennis star Novak Djokovic from vaccination was met with uproar in the country.The federal government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, fielding criticism for his handling of the Omicron wave in an election year, on Friday cancelled Djokovic's visa for the second time over Covid-19 entry rules. Djokovic is seeking a court ruling to stop his deportation. – Reuters


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