South Africa

COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | UK says Covid-19 vaccine roll out could start before Christmas

COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | UK says Covid-19 vaccine roll out could start before Christmas

October 28 2020 - 12:14

UK says Covid-19 vaccine roll out could start before Christmas

A Covid-19 vaccine could be rolled out in Britain for some people before Christmas but an early 2021 launch is more likely, the woman responsible for procuring possible jabs in Britain said on Wednesday.

"If the first two vaccines, or either of them, show that they are both safe and effective, I think there is a possibility that vaccine roll out will start this side of Christmas, but otherwise I think it's more realistic to expect it to be early next year," Kate Bingham said on BBC television. 

-REUTERS

October 28 2020 - 11:54

France must accept new national lockdown, says hospital professor

Professor Philippe Juvin, a leading member of Paris' Georges-Pompidou hospital, told RTL radio on Wednesday that France had to accept a new, national lockdown to tackle a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus. "We must take it up," said Juvin.

French President Emmanuel Macron will give a televised address on Wednesday evening. His government has been exploring a new, national lockdown from midnight on Thursday, BFM TV reported, albeit a slightly more flexible one than the two-month shutdown that began in mid-March.

Schools could remain open even as restrictions on people's movements become more severe, BFM TV added.

France imposed a night-time curfew on major cities, including Paris, two weeks ago running from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., but the COVID-19 figures have continued to worsen.

Official data on Tuesday showed that France had reported 523 new deaths from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, and 33,417 new confirmed COVID cases.

France has registered a total of 35,541 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,198,695 confirmed COVID cases. The prospect of a new lockdown also hit the French stock market, with Paris' benchmark CAC-40 index falling by 2.8 percent by 0940 GMT, while travel and leisure stocks such as Air France KLM and hotels group Accor also slumped.

-REUTERS

October 28 2020 - 10:54

Indonesia coronavirus case tally tops 400,000

 Indonesia's coronavirus infections have passed the 400,000 mark, with 4,029 new cases confirmed on Wednesday, according to health ministry data.

The Southeast Asian country has 400,483 cases. With the addition of Wednesday's 100 more COVID-19 deaths, it has recorded 13,612 fatalities.

-REUTERS

October 28 2020 - 10:26

Protection level and timing of early Covid vaccines still uncertain - UK minister

It is likely that the first Covid-19 vaccines will be imperfect and it is still unclear when they will be ready and how much protection they will give, British environment minister George Eustice said on Wednesday.

Asked about an opinion piece by the head of the UK Vaccine's Taskforce that the first generation of Covid-19 vaccines "is likely to be imperfect" and that they "might not work for everyone", Eustice said he thought the analysis was "probably right".

"A vaccine will be the answer at some point, but it is too early to say precisely when that vaccine will come. I know there's some hope that there might something as quickly as Christmas, but that's not by any means a certainty," he told Sky News.

"Always with a vaccine, you don't know precisely what level of protection it will deliver... There's always a lot of doubt and uncertainty with vaccines." 

-REUTERS

October 28 2020 - 10:11

France must accept new national lockdown, says hospital professor

Professor Philippe Juvin, a leading member of Paris' Georges-Pompidou hospital, told RTL radio on Wednesday that France had to accept a new, national lockdown to tackle a resurgence of the Covid-19 virus.

"We must take it up," said Juvin.

French President Emmanuel Macron will give a televised address on Wednesday evening. His government has been exploring a new, national lockdown from midnight on Thursday, BFM TV reported, albeit a slightly more flexible one than the two-month shutdown that began in mid-March. 

-REUTERS

October 28 2020 - 09:17

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 14,964 - RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 14,964, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.

The reported death toll rose by 27, the tally showed.

-REUTERS

October 28 2020 - 08:17

Cyril Ramaphosa goes into self-isolation

President Cyril Ramaphosa has begun a period of self-quarantine after a guest at a dinner attended by the president on October 24 2020 tested positive for Covid-19.

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa was with other senior government officials including two ministers at the unveiling of a statue in honour of late struggle stalwart Oliver Reginald Tambo at the OR Tambo International Airport.

President Ramaphosa self-quarantines after dinner guest gets Covid

October 28 2020 - 08:00

'Peer management' needed to enforce wearing of masks, says Prof Glenda Gray

South Africans have to “peer manage” each other into wearing face masks in public, says the president of the SA Medical Research Council, Prof Glenda Gray.

Over the past few weeks, social media has witnessed an increase in “mask-shaming” as some users said they were shamed for wearing a mask in public and even in restaurants.

'Peer management' needed to enforce wearing of masks, says Prof...

October 28 2020 - 07:48

Discussions underway to extend UIF Covid-19 TERS payments

The UIF has disbursed more than R50 billion to workers affected by the Covid-19 lockdown in the country, department of labour said in a statement.

The department also revealed that discussions are underway regarding the extension of the Covid-19 temporary employer-employee relief scheme (TERS) payments beyond September 16 2020.

October 28 2020 - 07:30

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 43.72 million, death toll at 1,161,943

More than 43.72 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,161,943​ have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. 

-REUTERS