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Covid-19: J&J the first confirmed vaccine maker to seek key regulatory approval that will allow distribution
A key part of the regulatory approval process – an application for a genetically modified organisms (GMO) permit - for Johnson and Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine got under way on Friday, becoming the first confirmed vaccine to undergo this process.
Meanwhile, the health department has refused to clarify the status of a similar application for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which is expected to arrive within days from the Serum Institute of India (SII).
26 January 21:15
As of today, the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 423 578.
"Regrettably, we report 680 more Covid-19 related deaths: Eastern Cape 86, Free State 28, Gauteng 141, Kwa-Zulu Natal 306, Limpopo 4, Mpumalanga 18, Northern Cape 2 and Western Cape 95 which brings the total to 41 797 deaths," the health department said.
Our recoveries now stand at 1 254 674, representing a recovery rate of 88%.
26 January 14:33
26 January 14:33
Covid-19 wrap: Lockdown riots continue in the Netherlands, US detects Brazil variant, Iran approves Russian vaccine
26 January 14:31
26 January 14:31
25 January 21:35
The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 417 537 with 4 551 new cases identified.
There have been 243 deaths.
"Regrettably, we report 243 more Covid-19 related deaths: Eastern Cape 65, Free State 18, Gauteng 33, Kwa-Zulu Natal 60, Mpumalanga 5, Northern Cape 5 and Western Cape 57. This brings the total to 41 117 deaths," a statement read.
Our recoveries now stand at 1 241 421, representing a recovery rate of 87,6%
25 January 14:14
Covid-19 wrap: UK death toll nears 100 000, Dutch PM condemns lockdown riots and US tops 25m cases
As the United Kingdom's Covid-19 death toll approaches 100 000, grief-stricken relatives of the dead expressed anger at Prime Minister Boris Johnson's handling of the worst public health crisis in a century.
25 January 11:54
SA travellers expected to be banned from entering the USA today
Travellers from South Africa are expected to be banned from entering the US in line with a host of new restrictions which will be signed into law by new US President Joe Biden.
Concerns around the 501Y.V2 variant have been voiced by top US advisors, including the US CDC and Anthony Fauci.
Restrictions will be reimposed on South America and Europe after former President Donald Trump, during his final days in office, lifted travel bans.
25 January 11:34
Prof Tulio de Oliveira on SA's Covid-19 vaccine response, the new variant and what lies ahead
Professor Tulio de Oliveira has been investigating SARS-CoV-2 and its new variants every day since February 2020, and he has no plans to stop.
The bioinformatician told News24 the 501Y.V2 variant was a "wake-up call" for everyone to take this virus very seriously.
He also said the South African government was doing everything it could to acquire vaccines, and that it's no easy task to get the response right.
25 January 11:22
All school management teams and support staff expected to report for duty on Monday
The Department of Basic Education has announced that all school management teams and support staff are expected to report back to school on Monday.
The circular will also made provision for educators who have comorbidities.
Educators who fail to return on the stipulated dates without a valid reason will subject themselves to disciplinary hearing action.
25 January 11:06
Fake news and rumours can kill, vaccines save lives - Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that vaccines are vital in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic, emphasising that false information and fake news can put lives at risk.
25 January 10:40
Cape Town family still none the wiser about Covid status after two botched tests
A Cape Town family was asked to be tested for a third time after two botched tests at a Cape Town clinic.
Their quarantine period has ended, but they are none the wiser whether they were infected or not.
The City of Cape Town has apologised for the incident.
25 January 08:33
'Nightmare not knowing' - Cape Town Covid victim's family wish hospital had kept them informed
Three days of severe anxiety following umpteen calls without a prognosis or update on the wellbeing of his 86-year-old hospitalised dad has seen a Cape Town man urge Western Cape health authorities to improve their communication with the worried loved ones of their patients.
25 January 08:32
Covid-19: South Africa records 8 147 new infections and 300 new deaths
South Africa recorded 8 147 new Covid-19 infections by Sunday, along with 300 new Covid-19-related deaths, taking the confirmed death toll to 40 874.According to a statement by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, as of Sunday, the country recorded a total of 1 412 986 confirmed Covid-19 cases.
25 January 07:29
US joins France, Israel and Sweden in blocking SA travel
The United States is set to join France, Israel and Sweden in pulling up the drawbridge to certain arrivals, with special concern about new strains of the pathogen that originated in Britain and South Africa.
Border restrictions were being tightened around the world on Monday in the face of an unrelenting coronavirus threat, after a weekend in which anger at social distancing rules bubbled over into fiery clashes in the Netherlands.
In Washington, President Joe Biden will on Monday reimpose a ban on most non-US citizens who have been in Britain, Brazil, Ireland and much on Europe, as well as adding South Africa to the list, a senior White House official said.
Biden last week tightened mask-wearing rules and ordered quarantine for people flying into the country, which on Sunday topped 25 million cases.
24 January 22:08
The number of Covid-19 cases in SA is 1 412 986 after 8 147 new cases were identified.
The death toll has hit 40 874, after 300 new fatalities.
"Regrettably, we report 300 more Covid-19 related deaths: Eastern Cape 43 , Free State 15, Gauteng 45, Kwa-Zulu Natal 70, Mpumalanga 6, North West 14, Northern Cape 2 and 105 Western Cape. This brings the total to 40 874 deaths," a statement said.
Our recoveries now stand at 1 230 520, representing a recovery rate of 87%
24 January 13:49
Russia reports 21 127 new coronavirus cases, 491 deaths
Russia reported 21 127 new coronavirus cases in the preceding 24 hours on Sunday, including 3 069 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 3 719 400.
Authorities also reported an additional 491 deaths, raising the total count to 69 462.
24 January 13:34
Portuguese brave lockdown for presidential polls
Portugal voted on Sunday despite the country's pandemic lockdown in a presidential election widely expected to see centre-right incumbent Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa win another term.
Polls point to a first-round win for Rebelo de Sousa, a former political commentator turned approachable head of state known for candid moments like queueing at the supermarket in shorts, plunging into the sea to help girls whose canoe had capsized or sharing a meal with homeless people.
But observers have their eye on how a far-right challenger will perform - and whether a plunge in turnout could produce an upset.
At stake is a post with the power to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections - a pivotal constitutional role with a minority government in power.
24 January 13:33
Germany to use corona meds that helped Trump
Germany will become the first European Union country to start using the same experimental antibodies treatment credited with helping Donald Trump recover from Covid-19, health minister Jens Spahn said on Sunday.
"The government has bought 200 000 doses for 400 million euros ($486 million)," Spahn told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, working out at 2 000 euros per dose.
The so-called monoclonal antibody cocktails will be deployed to university hospitals in the coming week, he said, adding that Germany was "the first country in the EU" to use them in the fight against the pandemic.
24 January 11:05
Britain still a long way from easing virus lockdown, minister says
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday the country was still a long way from being able to relax a national lockdown despite evidence that the restrictions were bringing down the rate of Covid-19 infections.
"There is early evidence that the lockdown is starting to bring cases down. But we're a long, long, long way from that from being low enough because the case rate was incredibly high and you can see the pressure on the NHS (National Health Service)," he said during an interview on Sky News.
24 January 10:40
New Zealand probes first 'probable' community Covid-19 case in months
New Zealand health officials said on Sunday they were investigating what they said was probably the country's first community coronavirus case, in months in a woman who recently returned from overseas.
The 56-year-old, who returned to New Zealand on 30 December, tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19 days after leaving a two-week mandatory quarantine at the border where she had twice tested negative.
"We are working under the assumptions that this is a positive case and that it is a more transmissible variant, either the one identified first in South Africa or the UK, or potentially Brazil - or another transmissible variant," Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told a news conference.
It is not known how the woman was infected or whether the infection is new, Bloomfield said.
But since the woman tested positive several days after being released from quarantine and has been at home, the authorities are treating it as a "probable community case".
24 January 10:39
Thailand reports 198 new coronavirus cases and one more death
Thailand on Sunday reported 198 new coronavirus cases, taking its total number of confirmed infections to 13 500.
Seven of the new infections were imported, a Covid-19 taskforce told a briefing.
One additional coronavirus-related death was recorded, bringing total fatalities to 73 since the outbreak began last year.
24 January 10:11
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 12 257 to 2 134 936 - RKI
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 12 257 to 2 134 936, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.
The reported death toll rose by 349 to 51 870, the tally showed.
24 January 08:43
French Covid-19 intensive care numbers down first time in two weeks
The number of people in intensive care units with coronavirus infection in France fell by 16 to 2 896, the first fall in two weeks after having risen by about 20 per day since mid-January.
The French health ministry also reported 23 924 new confirmed Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, from 23 292 on Friday and 21 406 last Saturday.
24 January 08:09
Egypt to start Covid-19 vaccination campaign: Sisi
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced on Saturday that Egypt would start rolling out a mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign the following day with the Chinese-made Sinopharm jab.
"We are starting a vaccination drive tomorrow beginning with healthcare workers followed by those suffering from chronic diseases and later the elderly," Sisi said in brief comments after unveiling several development projects in Port Said.
24 January 08:08
Mainland China reports 80 new Covid-19 cases vs 107 a day earlier
Mainland China reported 80 new Covid-19 cases on 23 January, down from 107 cases a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Sunday.
The National Health Commission, in a statement, said 65 of the new cases were local infections.
The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, fell to 92 from 99 cases a day earlier.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Mainland China now stands at 88 991, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4 635.
23 January 21:12
23 January 21:07
South Africa has recorded 12 271 coronavirus cases bringing the total to 1 404 839.
There have been 498 more deaths.
"Regrettably, 498 deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 45, Free State 17, Gauteng 201, Kwa-Zulu Natal 125, Limpopo 19, Mpumalanga 18, Northern Cape 2 and Western Cape 71 which brings the total to 40 574 deaths," Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.
Recoveries now stand at 1 217 492 , representing a recovery rate of 86,6%.
22 January 21:51
There has been a steady decrease in reported coronavirus infections in the past week, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.
"In the past week we have observed a decline in transmission as evidenced by reduced new cases daily, a steadily decreasing positivity rate (19% today from a high of 36% in this wave), and promising evidence of downward deflection of admission numbers.
"We are hoping that this decline in numbers is going to bring the much required reprieve to our overwhelmed health facilities, both in the public and private sector. We are closely monitoring this to inform our process of recommending the review of some of the restrictions that are currently in place."
He does caution that the transmission rate is high and, before lockdown restrictions can be eased, new infections must be reduced to " an acceptable level".
South Africa now has 1 392 568 Covid-19 infections after 11 761 more coronavirus cases have been reported.
The death toll stands at 40 076, with 575 new fatalities.
Mkhize said that the department would provide further updates on the rollout for vaccines.
"We will, in the next coming days, engage with the public in order to give an update on the progress of the first batch of the vaccines that we committed would be received in the first quarter.
"At this stage we would like to assure South Africans that all is on track. We are working closely with all relevant stakeholders to ensure a smooth implementation of the vaccine roll-out programme."
22 January 19:29
There is evidence that people who tested positive for the so called 'UK variant' of Covid-19 have an increased risk, the UK's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said on Friday.
"There is evidence that there's an increased risk for those who have the new variant, compared to the old virus," Vallance said at a news briefing, referring to data on those who test positive.
"If you took ... a man in their sixties, the average risk is that for 1 000 people who got infected, roughly 10 would be expected to unfortunately die with the virus. With the new variant, for 1 000 people infected roughly 13 or 14 people might be expected to die," he added.
22 January 19:21
There is "some evidence" that the new strain of coronavirus identified in Britain is not only more transmissible but also more deadly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday.
"It also now appears that there is some evidence that the new variant... may be associated with a higher degree of mortality," he said at a Downing Street press conference.
22 January 16:34
Ramaphosa: Govt may need to increase debt to get Covid-19 vaccines
President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the ANC's national executive committee lekgotla on Friday that government will look at increasing public borrowing to fund the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
He was delivered his political overview at the opening of the two-day meeting of ANC leaders, their alliance partners and other top government deploys.
22 January 15:53
22 January 15:16
22 January 15:13
Jackson Mthembu to be honoured with Category 1 official funeral
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu will be honoured with an "Official Funeral Category 1" at his home in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga on Sunday, 24 January, according to a statement issued by the Presidency.
The State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy accords Official Funerals Category 1 to serving ministers.
The national flag will be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country from tomorrow morning, 23 January, until the evening of the day of the funeral.
22 January 14:44
22 January 14:43
22 January 14:42
22 January 14:42
22 January 12:29
22 January 12:28
22 January 12:26
22 January 12:23
UK says no decision on payment for positive Covid-19 tests
LONDON – The British government has taken no decision on whether to pay £500 to everyone in England who tests positive for Covid-19, environment minister George Eustice said on Friday.
Newspapers cited a policy paper which they said showed the government was considering such a move to encourage more people to take tests for the new coronavirus, though it would cost £453 million a week.
Studies show many people ignore instructions to self-isolate when they have contact with someone who has the virus because of the financial impact of being unable to work while quarantining for 10 days.
Some low-paid people already receive a £500 payment if they self-isolate. The newspaper reports said the government was considering a universal payment.
"I'm not going to comment on this particular paper but we've always kept it under review," Eustice said. "No decisions to be made on this, but this is a dynamic, fast-moving situation with the pandemic."
Eustice said the government recognised that self-isolating was "a financial challenge for some".
Cases surged in Britain at the end of last year, fuelled by a new highly transmissible strain of the virus, which has put the health service under extreme pressure. On Thursday, Britain recorded 37 892 new cases with 1 290 deaths.
22 January 12:18
Beijing launches mass testing to stem virus outbreak
Beijing on Friday kicked off a drive to test two million people in 48 hours as the city rushed to snuff out a new local cluster of cases believed to be linked to a more contagious virus variant.
Long queues snaked through the Chinese capital – which reported 19 coronavirus cases in the past week – as the mass testing campaign got under way in Dongcheng and Xicheng districts.
The two downtown districts include Tiananmen Square and several government ministry offices, and are home to around two million residents.
AFP saw one testing line stretch over 400 metres, with around a thousand people waiting to be tested.
"I received the notification this morning and thought I'd come during lunch hour; but there are so many people here in line," one Dongcheng resident said.
Officials plan to complete the testing by Saturday, and with the Lunar New Year holiday looming – typically a time when hundreds of millions travel across the country to visit families – they are keen to avoid a fully fledged outbreak in Beijing.
Locals have complained about long wait times in freezing temperatures, with social media users on Friday saying queues for tests were "unending" as residents braved the winter chill to get swabbed.
"I queued for three hours and finally got tested," one user said on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform.
The Xicheng district government said in a social media notice on Friday that some of the confirmed cases had been into the area and there was an "increased risk" of infections.
22 January 12:11
22 January 12:08
22 January 12:07
22 January 12:03
22 January 11:58
'High risk' of third Covid-19 wave in South Africa by winter without rapid immunisation, says expert
- SA experts have called for government to ensure rapid immunisation of the population in order to avoid a third resurgence by winter.
- However, government has been mum on its vaccine rollout plans.
- The Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture did not respond to News24's enquiries on the matter.