South Africa

COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Basic education department resolves to reopen schools on February 15

COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Basic education department resolves to reopen schools on February 15

January 15 2021 - 09:03

WATCH LIVE | Are schools opening soon? Minister Angie Motshekga has the answers

WATCH LIVE | Are schools opening soon? Minister Angie Motshekga has...

January 15 2021 - 08:27

India to treat home-grown Covid-19 vaccine same as AstraZeneca's

India will treat a domestic Covid-19 vaccine “equally” with a prominent global one, even though the home-grown drug's efficacy has not been proven, and people will have no choice which one they get, a top government vaccine official told Reuters.

The government on Saturday will launch one of the world's biggest vaccination programmes with shots manufactured in India — one developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc, the other by Bharat Biotech International Ltd with a state-run institute.

Administering Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, a move cheered by nationalist politicians, has worried some health experts who consider it rushed, as the vaccine has only limited, “clinical-trial mode” approval. In addition to efficacy concerns, the close monitoring required for its use will be a huge challenge in a country of 1.35 billion people.

India to treat home-grown Covid-19 vaccine same as AstraZeneca's

January 15 2021 - 08:25

Japan's Hiroshima to conduct large-scale PCR tests to battle Covid-19

Japan's Hiroshima prefecture said on Friday it will carry out large-scale polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to curb the spread of coronavirus, a rarity in a nation that lags far behind many other countries in the number of tests conducted.

The western Japan prefecture aims to conduct PCR tests for 800,000 people in the city of Hiroshima, which has a population of 1.2 million.

The 800,000 comprises residents in the city's four wards hardest hit by the virus and workers who commute into the area.

Japan's Hiroshima to conduct large-scale PCR tests to battle Covid-19

January 15 2021 - 08:11

KZN, Limpopo health urged to get other oxygen suppliers as Covid-19 cases rise

Parliament's portfolio committee on health has expressed concern at the insufficient oxygen supply for Covid-19 patients in hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.

The problem with oxygen supply emerged during a briefing to the committee by the KwaZulu-Natal and the Limpopo departments of health on the status of health care services in relation to Covid-19.

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu told the committee on Thursday that funerals have become Covid-19 super-spreaders, as people were not observing health protocols during these events.

She said Afrox, the company that supplies all the provinces with oxygen, has been struggling to keep up with demand.

KZN, Limpopo health urged to get other oxygen suppliers as Covid-19...

January 15 2021 - 07:39

US Supreme Court allows execution of condemned men with Covid-19

The US Supreme Court rejected on Thursday night a lower court's ruling that the final two scheduled federal executions of President Donald Trump's administration be delayed to allow the condemned men to recover from Covid-19.

The ruling from the court's conservative majority meant Corey Johnson, a convicted murderer, is set to be strapped to a gurney in the US Department of Justice's execution chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana, a short time later on Thursday night to be injected with lethal doses of pentobarbital.

The Justice Department has scheduled the execution of Dustin Higgs, convicted in a separate murder, for Friday evening. His lawyers are also challenging his execution on other legal grounds besides his Covid-19 diagnosis, but the Supreme Court has so far allowed all executions to proceed since Trump resumed the practice last year after a 17-hiatus.

US Supreme Court allows execution of condemned men with Covid-19

January 15 2021 - 06:46

Medical oxygen shortage in Zimbabwe as Covid-19 cases surge

Covid-19 patients in need of oxygen in Zimbabwe are in a dire situation as the country’s hospitals run critically short of medical oxygen.

Many people in need have taken to social medical looking to buy oxygen cylinders.

Private medical suppliers are selling oxygen concentrators for between USD$2,000 (about R30,300) and USD $3,700 (about R56,000) — a price which is beyond the reach of many in Zimbabwe.

Medical oxygen shortage in Zimbabwe as Covid-19 cases surge

January 15 2021 - 06:46

Thailand reports 188 new coronavirus cases, no new deaths

Thailand reported 188 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking its total infections to 11,450.There were no new deaths reported and 34 of the new cases were imported from abroad or found in quarantine, the country's Covid-19 taskforce said at a briefing. Thailand has recorded 69 coronavirus-related deaths since a year ago.

Reuters

January 15 2021 - 06:00

Gautengers! Put yourselves on voluntary level 5 lockdown, urge experts

Health experts have called on Gauteng residents to put themselves voluntarily into lockdown level five, warning that the peak of the second wave was still to come.

Experts also called on government to introduce online learning until there’s a clear downward trend beyond the peak.

UKZN’s Prof Mosa Moshabela said: “To reduce infections, I think people who can, should just stay home and work from home. Just take yourself into level five lockdown.”

Gautengers! Put yourselves on voluntary level 5 lockdown, urge experts

January 15 2021 - 06:00

Don’t fail SA’s kids again, reopen schools, say top profs

An eminent professor of economics at Stellenbosch University has urged the department of basic education to reopen schools as soon as possible, in the interests of pupils.

Servaas van der Berg said “being out of school is bad for children mentally, psychologically and socially, and undermines their long-term academic and economic prospects”.

Don’t fail SA’s kids again, reopen schools, say top profs

January 15 2021 - 06:00

What does the agency tell the tens of thousands affected by grant backlog? The ‘inconvenience’ is ‘acknowledged’

Greenwood is one of hundreds of temporary disability and care-dependency grant applicants waiting outside the Bellville office of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa), exposed to scorching heat by day and the dangers of the streets at night. The situation is similar at other Sassa branches in Cape Town.

What the hell is going on, Sassa? Women, kids sleep on streets...