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COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 4,322 new Covid-19 cases

19 January 2022 - 06:20 By TimesLIVE
Workers wearing protective suits following the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak stand next to daily necessities placed on makeshift delivery racks, at a residential compound under lockdown after a case of the Omicron variant was detected, in Beijing's Haidian district, China January 18, 2022.
Workers wearing protective suits following the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak stand next to daily necessities placed on makeshift delivery racks, at a residential compound under lockdown after a case of the Omicron variant was detected, in Beijing's Haidian district, China January 18, 2022.
Image: China Daily via REUTERS

January 19 2022 - 19:18

SA confirms 4,322 new Covid-19 cases, 156 deaths in 24 hours

Gauteng recorded more than 1,000 of SA's 4,322 new Covid-19 cases, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases reported on Wednesday.

The province was the only one to breach the 1,000 mark, recording 1,047 cases in the past 24 hours. The Western Cape reported 982 new infections and KwaZulu-Natal 706.

The NICD also reported that there were 156 Covid-19 related deaths identified in the past day, but of these, 36 were in the past 24 to 48 hours. The others were as a result of audits done to deal with backlogs in reporting.

January 19 2022 - 15:53

Coronavirus command council looking at dropping state of disaster: Ramaphosa

SA is reconsidering the national state of disaster as the rate of Covid-19 infections dip.

This was revealed by President Cyril Ramaphosa as he responded to media questions during the launch of the new NantSA facility — a vaccine manufacturing facility established by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong — in Brackenfell, Cape Town on Wednesday.

“We are on record as saying we are examining how best we should handle the state of disaster in this period when infections have dropped and the efficacy of using the legislation or other measures,” he said.

January 19 2022 - 14:30

England's Covid-19 prevalence falls back from record high

The estimated Covid-19 prevalence in England fell back from a record high in the week ending January 15, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday, with an estimated 1 in 20 people infected.

The ONS Infection Survey showed that prevalence had fallen back from the estimated 1 in 15 people who had Covid-19 over the previous two weeks. 

Reuters

January 19 2022 - 11:05

WATCH | Ramaphosa opens African vaccine HQ in Cape Town with billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong

A manufacturing operation which will allow next-generation vaccines to be manufactured in SA for the rest of the continent was launched in Cape Town on Wednesday by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

NantSA has been established in Brackenfell by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder of the multinational conglomerate NantWorks, who was born in SA and graduated from Wits University medical school.

Ramaphosa and Soon-Shiong also launched the Coalition to Accelerate Africa’s Access to Advanced Healthcare, which aims to drive the development of  innovative therapeutics and ensure the continent is prepared for future pandemics.

January 19 2022 - 10:15

Scientists try to assess the impact of the Omicron wave in South Africa | DW News

South Africa was the first country to sound the alarm about the Omicron variant. Now the wave has passed – and other countries are looking to learn from its experience. Data shows how the Omicron variant causes a spike in case numbers - because it is highly infectious - a lot more than previous coronavirus variants. South Africa’s fourth wave was therefore sharper - but also shorter.

But crucially, the Omicron wave has so far resulted in fewer deaths than previous waves. There were also fewer hospitalisations this time around. Some experts conclude that Omicron is less dangerous.

But others have warned that many cases may go unreported or undetected, so the real numbers of cases and deaths could be much higher. They're warning not to underestimate Omicron as a "milder" variant.

January 19 2022 - 09:42

Hong Kong's Covid-19 hamster cull sparks fear of owners abandoning pets

A mass hamster cull in Hong Kong sparked fears among animal welfare groups on Wednesday that panicky people would abandon their pets after 11 of the rodents from one petshop in the city tested positive for Covid-19.

The local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), which runs veterinary clinics, told Reuters “numerous” worried pet owners have been contacting them for advice.

“We urge the pet owners not to panic or abandon their pets,” SPCA said in a statement.

January 19 2022 - 08:15

Bulgaria posts record of more than 11,000 daily Covid-19 cases

Bulgaria reported a record 11,181 coronavirus infections in a single day on Wednesday, official data showed, dominated by the more contagious Omicron variant.

The European Union nation, where less than 30% of the population of 7 million has been vaccinated, added 91 deaths.

Bulgaria's tally of infections exceeds 840,000, with 32,332 deaths since the pandemic began.

The new centrist government has repeatedly appealed to vaccine-sceptical Bulgarians to get inoculated, so as to avoid pressure on hospitals that could force tougher curbs.

About 5,259 people were admitted to hospital on Wednesday, with 554 of them in intensive care.

A recent jump in the number of children who tested positive for coronavirus has prompted authorities to consider extending the one-day term break to nine, starting from Jan. 29, the education minister has said.

Reuters

January 19 2022 - 07:30

Boris Johnson denies lying about lockdown party

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has denied an accusation that he had lied to parliament about a lockdown party, saying nobody had warned him the gathering might contravene Covid-19 rules.

January 19 2022 - 07:00

I still have Covid-19 symptoms after isolating for 10 days- are my colleagues at risk?

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says it is possible to still experience Covid-19 symptoms for weeks after the prescribed 10-day isolation period, as recovery may take up to several weeks. 

The institute says it is safe to return to work if your fever, among other symptoms, has improved.

However, if they persist for longer than usual, it recommends seeking medical attention. 

January 19 2022 - 06:30

Vaccine inequality leaving 'swathes' behind, WHO says

The WHO’s Emergencies Director Mike Ryan said that over half of the world's population has received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, but only 7% of the population in Africa has been fully vaccinated.

January 19 2022 - 06:15

China: caution opening overseas mail after Omicron case

China is urging people to wear masks and gloves when opening mail, especially from abroad, after authorities suggested the first case of the Omicron coronavirus virus variant found in Beijing could have arrived via a package from Canada.

January 19 2022 - 06:00

Even a fourth Pfizer jab not enough to stop Omicron infection, says study

 

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