Omicron may be less severe, but not ‘mild’ – WHO chief

6 January 2022, 6:44 PM
The more infectious Omicron variant of COVID-19 appears to produce less severe disease than the globally dominant Delta strain, but should not be categorised as"mild", the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
‘Scream’ Debuts to Bloody Impressive $30.6 Million 17 January 2022, 12:41 AM

"Scream," a reimagining of a horror franchise that appeared to have run out of steam, dominated the box office, earning a scary good $30.6 million.

SA records 2 597 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday 16 January 2022, 8:41 PM

South Africa's COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped further and now stands at 10.6% after 2 597 new cases were recorded in the latest reporting cycle.

Italy reports 149 512 coronavirus cases on Sunday, 248 deaths 16 January 2022, 8:10 PM

 Italy reported 149 512 COVID-19 related cases on Sunday, after 180 426 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths fell to 248 from 308.

England opens COVID booster jab programme to 16- and 17-year olds 16 January 2022, 5:00 AM

England's health service said it will expand its COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to include 16- and 17-year-olds from Monday.

Djokovic escorted by immigration officers to hearing to decide Australian fate 16 January 2022, 4:47 AM

Novak Djokovic left a hotel for asylum seekers on Sunday morning headed for a federal court hearing that will decide once and for all whether he can stay in Australia and defend his Open title.

Apple to require employee proof of COVID-19 booster -The Verge 16 January 2022, 2:41 AM

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) will require retail and corporate employees to provide proof of a COVID-19 booster shot, The Verge reported on Saturday, citing an internal email.

Global vaccine-sharing programme reaches milestone of 1 billion doses 16 January 2022, 1:39 AM

The COVAX global vaccine-sharing programme has delivered 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses, one of the organisations which manages it said on Saturday.

J&J vaccine found to be effective against Omicron: Study 15 January 2022, 9:43 PM

The Department of Health has reminded the public that booster COVID-19 vaccines are available. People who received the second dose of their Pfizer jab at least six months ago can now get their booster shot.

South Africa records 4 592 new COVID-19 cases, 64 deaths on Saturday 15 January 2022, 7:36 PM

On Saturday the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service has reported  4 592 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 556 633.

Italy reports 180 426 coronavirus cases on Saturday, 308 deaths 15 January 2022, 6:37 PM

Italy reported 180 426 COVID-19 related cases on Saturday, after 186 253 the day before, the health ministry said, while the number of deaths fell to 308 from 360.

Vaccinated public reminded to take booster shots 15 January 2022, 11:02 AM

The Department of Health has reminded the public that booster COVID-19 vaccines are available. People who received the second dose of their Pfizer jab at least six months ago can now get their booster shot.

COVID-19 testing
Children aged 10 and below had lowest COVID-19 cases during 4th wave: NICD 15 January 2022, 7:12 AM

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says children aged 10 and below were recorded to have had the lowest number of COVID-19 cases during the country's 4th wave of the pandemic.

EMA lists rare spinal condition as side effect of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot 15 January 2022, 4:25 AM

A safety panel of the European drug regulator on Friday recommended adding a rare spinal inflammation called transverse myelitis as a side effect of AstraZeneca's (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine.

Study suggests Omicron less severe even for unvaccinated 15 January 2022, 4:09 AM

 Unvaccinated people infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus may be less prone to severe illness and requiring hospital care or dying than was the case with previous variants, a South African study showed on Friday.

US households can order 4 free COVID-19 tests starting Jan. 19 -White House 15 January 2022, 2:07 AM

U.S. households can order four free at-home COVID-19 tests from the website starting on January 19 with shipping expected within seven to 12 days of ordering, the White House said on Friday.

Minister Phaahla declares Gauteng out of the fourth wave 14 January 2022, 10:14 AM

Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, has announced that Gauteng has officially exited the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

WHO recommends Eli Lilly, GSK-Vir’s drugs, widening COVID-19 treatment pool 14 January 2022, 4:23 AM

A World Health Organisation (WHO) panel recommended use of two drugs by Eli Lilly, and GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology for COVID-19 patients, adding treatment options as the fast-spreading Omicron variant renders many ineffective.

Omicron becomes dominant variant in Germany – RKI institute 14 January 2022, 3:48 AM

Omicron has become Germany's dominant coronavirus variant accounting for 73.3 % of cases nationwide compared with 44.3 % seven days ago, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases wrote in its weekly report on Thursday.

Health Minister, Joe Phaahla to brief media on governments efforts in the fight against COVID-19 14 January 2022, 2:17 AM

Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla and Deputy Minister of Health, Sibongiseni Dhlomo are expected to convene a virtual media briefing on Friday morning, on governments efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

Polish scientists find gene that doubles risk of serious COVID-19 13 January 2022, 6:24 PM

Polish scientists have found a gene that they say more than doubles the risk of becoming severely ill with COVID-19, a discovery they hope could help doctors identify people who are most at risk from the disease.

Tokyo’s new COVID-19 cases jump to 4-month high, forecast to triple 13 January 2022, 2:58 PM

Tokyo recorded a new four-month high in COVID-19 infections on Thursday, and experts forecast the spread of the Omicron variant will cause the daily count to triple by month's end.

Omicron less severe than Delta but still poses danger for unvaccinated: WHO 13 January 2022, 9:30 AM

The highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant causes less severe disease than the Delta strain but it remains a "dangerous virus", particularly for those who are unvaccinated, the head of the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday.

WHO’s Ryan counters Brazil’s Bolsonaro and says no virus is welcome 13 January 2022, 3:02 AM

World Health Organisation Emergency (WHO) Director Mike Ryan on Wednesday refuted statements made by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus would be welcome and that it could even bring about the end of the pandemic.

Lula holds big lead in Brazil as voters worry about inflation, COVID-19 12 January 2022, 3:41 PM

Former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva retains a clear lead for this year's presidential election in Brazil, where inflation and the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic most worry voters, a poll published on Wednesday showed.

Germany’s SPD expects vote on general vaccine mandate in March 12 January 2022, 4:40 AM

The ruling Social Democrats (SPD) expect a bill on making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory in Germany to be voted on by Parliament in March, the party's leader in the legislature said on Tuesday.

US Sen. Rand Paul driving violent threats against me, Fauci says 12 January 2022, 3:51 AM

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease official, on Tuesday accused Republican Senator Rand Paul of spreading misinformation that has sparked threats of violence against him and his family while distracting the public from the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Too soon to treat COVID-19 like flu as Omicron spreads: WHO 11 January 2022, 9:29 PM

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is on track to infect more than half of Europeans, but it should not yet be seen as a flu-like endemic illness, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

In vaccine-shy Poland, COVID deaths top 100 000 11 January 2022, 8:58 PM

Poland's death toll from coronavirus-related conditions surpassed 100 000 on Tuesday, as vaccine hesitancy and a reluctance to abide by COVID-19 restrictions fuelled a surge in infections, officials and doctors said.

SA records 5 668 new COVID-19 cases, 119 fatalities 11 January 2022, 7:32 PM

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has reported 5 668 new COVID-19 cases in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 534 131.

Future coronavirus variants could be much weaker than Omicron: Prof Karim 11 January 2022, 5:41 PM

Preliminary findings from two South African clinical trials suggest the Omicron coronavirus variant has a much higher rate of "asymptomatic carriage" than earlier variants, which could explain why it has spread so rapidly across the globe.