CORONAVIRUS: Your daily update

18 January 2022, 5:25 AM
South Africa has reported 1 691 new COVID-19 cases, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed infections to 3 560 921.
US man recovering after ‘breakthrough’ pig-heart transplant 11 January 2022, 8:20 AM

A US man with terminal heart disease was implanted with a genetically modified pig heart in a first-of-its-kind surgery, and three days later the patient is doing well, his doctors reported on Monday.

Last year was fourth warmest for US on record, report says 11 January 2022, 1:49 AM

The year 2021 ranked as the fourth-warmest year on record in the United States, with December 2021 being the warmest December ever recorded, as the country was hit by 20 separate billion-dollar disasters, according to an overview of a government report published on Monday.

EU scientists call for action as greenhouse gas levels hit high in 2021 10 January 2022, 4:10 PM

Levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere hit record highs in 2021, which was one of the world’s hottest years ever and underlined the need for change, the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said. Globally, 2021 was the fifth hottest year on record, with an average temperature 1.1-1.2C above 1850-1900 levels. […]

Britain seeks help from private health firms as Omicron wave looms 10 January 2022, 10:00 AM

Britain has ordered England's health service to strike a deal with private health companies to provide crucial treatments such as cancer surgery should Omicron overwhelm the National Health Service (NHS).

Germany assessing reliability of antibody tests for Omicron – minister 10 January 2022, 4:09 AM

Germany will study how reliable rapid antigen tests are in detecting the fast-spreading Omicron variant of COVID-19, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Sunday.

Zululand Muncipality wants company’s mining rights revoked after slurry spill into a river 9 January 2022, 2:23 PM

The Zululand District Municipality has called on authorities to revoke anthracite producer ZAC’s mining license. This after the mine reported that it experienced a spill of slurry material into a river in Okhukho village after the collapse of the dam wall. The dam capacity is 3183 square metres and it is estimated that half of […]

Ntshavheni confident in SA’s plans to launch own satellite into orbit 9 January 2022, 11:32 AM

Communications and Digital Technologies Minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has expressed confidence in the country's plans to launch its own Communication Satellite into orbit.

First Colombian with non-terminal illness dies legally by euthanasia 9 January 2022, 2:06 AM

Colombian Victor Escobar became the first person in the Andean country with a non-terminal illness to die by legally regulated euthanasia late on Friday, his lawyer Luis Giraldo confirmed.

UK says 4th COVID jabs not needed for now as booster effect lasts 8 January 2022, 4:22 AM

Booster jabs are still providing high levels of protection for older people against severe disease from the Omicron coronavirus variant and there is no need for now for people to have a fourth shot, British health officials said on Friday.

9 260 new COVID-19 cases identified in SA 7 January 2022, 8:01 PM

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has reported 9 260 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 513 813.

J&J says its single dose protects against breakthrough COVID-19 for up to 6 months 7 January 2022, 12:29 AM

Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday that a real-world study showed its single shot COVID-19 vaccine protects against breakthrough infections and hospitalisations for up to six months.

9 860 new COVID-19 cases recorded in SA 6 January 2022, 9:00 PM

South Africa has recorded 9 860 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 504 554.

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.

Africa CDC encouraged by SA’s fight against Omicron variant 6 January 2022, 6:27 PM

The Africa Centre for Disease Control says five countries on the continent are already battling the fifth wave of surging COVID-19 infections while 42 are experiencing the fourth wave.

Indonesia survey finds 85% of 22 000 respondents have COVID-19 antibodies 6 January 2022, 11:32 AM

More than 85% of 22 000 Indonesians surveyed have antibodies against COVID-19, a government-commissioned survey showed, but epidemiologists warned it was not clear whether this immunity could help contain a fresh wave of coronavirus infections.

Pfizer, biotech firm end patent fight over COVID-19 vaccine 6 January 2022, 8:29 AM

San Diego-based Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals Inc has resolved its patent dispute with Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE over technology allegedly used in developing their COVID-19 vaccine, according to a filing late on Tuesday in San Diego federal court.

N Korea unveils second hypersonic missile in fiery test 6 January 2022, 2:29 AM

North Korea fired a hypersonic missile this week that successfully hit a target, state news agency KCNA reported on Thursday, its second such test as the country pursues new military capabilities amid stalled denuclearisation talks.

CDC advisory panel in favour of Pfizer vaccine booster for ages 12 to 15 6 January 2022, 12:26 AM

A panel of outside experts advising the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday voted to recommend booster shots of Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE's COVID-19 vaccine be made available to 12- to 15-year-olds.

Pfizer, BioNTech to develop shingles shot, after COVID-19 vaccine success 5 January 2022, 3:55 PM

Pfizer Inc and Germany's BioNTech will develop an mRNA-based vaccine for the prevention of viral infection shingles, collaborating for the third time after the success of their COVID-19 vaccine based on the same technology.

South Africa could have a slight surge in COVID-19 infections in coming weeks: SAMA 5 January 2022, 11:20 AM

SAMA believes that South Africa will experience a slight surge in COVID-19 infections in the coming weeks as the festive season draws to an end.

WHO sees more evidence that Omicron causes milder symptoms 5 January 2022, 9:45 AM

More evidence is emerging that the Omicron coronavirus variant is affecting the upper respiratory tract, causing milder symptoms than previous variants and resulting in a "decoupling" in some places between soaring case numbers and low death rates, a World Health Organisation official said on Tuesday.

Gupta-owned Mediosa mobile clinics in North West still standing idle 4 January 2022, 4:43 PM

The controversial multi-million rand Gupta owned Mediosa mobile health clinics, which are stationed at the Ratlou Health Service Centre in Setlagole in the North West, are still standing idle.

Omicron evades immunity better than Delta, Danish study finds 4 January 2022, 8:46 AM

The Omicron coronavirus variant is better at circumventing vaccinated peoples' immunity than the Delta variant, according to a Danish study published last week, helping explain why Omicron is spreading more rapidly.

Durban SPCA concerned about the increasing cases of rabies 3 January 2022, 1:57 PM

The Kloof and Highway SPCA in Durban has raised concern about the increasing cases of rabies in pets. This non-profit organisation provides shelter to many animals, including unwanted and stray animals.

Israel to offer fourth COVID vaccine shot to over 60s, medical staff 3 January 2022, 4:22 AM

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that Israel would offer a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine to people over 60 and to medical staff as it faces a surge in Omicron variant infections.

4 379 new COVID-19 cases recorded in SA 2 January 2022, 8:01 PM

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has reported 4 379 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3 472 436.

Fauci warns of danger of hospitalisation surge due to large number of COVID cases 2 January 2022, 6:34 PM

Top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said there was still a danger of a surge in hospitalization due to a large number of coronavirus cases even as early data suggests the Omicron COVID-19 variant is less severe.

Omicron could lead Israel to herd immunity: health official 2 January 2022, 1:00 PM

A surge of Omicron infections could see Israel reaching herd immunity, the country's top health official said on Sunday as daily cases continued to climb.

Bahrain authorizes use of Pfizer’s anti-COVID drug -state news agency 2 January 2022, 4:25 AM

Bahrain's health authorities authorized Pfizer's (PFE.N) Paxlovid COVID-19 drug for emergency use in adults aged over 18, the state news agency said in a statement on Saturday.

England reports 162 572 new COVID-19 cases, another record 1 January 2022, 7:04 PM

England reported a record high daily total of 162 572 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, up from 160 276 the previous day, official data showed.