Oct 21, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 3,200 new Covid-19 cases, 89 deaths in 24 hours

June 07 2021 – 22:38

SA records 3,200 new Covid-19 cases, 89 deaths in 24 hours

SA stands on the verge of 1.7 million confirmed Covid-19 cases after 3,285 new infections were recorded in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Monday.

This means that there have now been 1,699,849 infections recorded to date — just 151 short of the 1.7 million mark. SA is now the 19th-ranked country in the world in terms of total confirmed infections. The US tops the list with more than 34.2 million, followed by India (just short of 29 million) and Brazil (just short of 19 million).

The health ministry said on Monday that the new cases in SA came from 23,199 tests, at a positivity rate of 14.16%. This is the second day in a row that the positivity rate — the number of new infections compared to the number of tests taken in the same period — has exceeded the 14% mark.

June 07 2021 – 14:32

Wastewater Covid-testing firm DeepVerge raises funds to drive growth

DeepVerge, a London-listed company that tests wastewater for Covid-19 and also assesses skincare products, has raised 10 million pounds ($14.2 million) to fund expansion.

The company priced the new shares at 30 pence, representing a 11.8% discount on the closing price on June 4.

Chief Executive Gerry Brandon said DeepVerge was seeing faster than expected growth in both its Labskin human skin equivalent platform, which works with leading skincare companies such as L’Oréal and Kimberly-Clark, and in its wastewater testing business.

It is fitting new technology into its wastewater monitoring units, which number more than 3,000 installed in over 60 countries, to enable real-time detection of Covid and other contaminants, he said.

“If the virus is actually there, it’s detected immediately and an alert is made,” he said, adding that real-time detection was about three days faster than sending samples to a lab.

Shares in DeepVerge were trading down 3% at 32.5 pence on Monday.

Reuters

June 07 2021 – 14:28

Funding and vaccines sought from G20 nations for COVAX, says WHO

A senior World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Monday that talks were being held with G20 countries, including China and India, regarding financial and Covid-19 vaccine donations to the COVAX dose-sharing facility.

Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the WHO director-general and the agency’s coordinator of the ACT-Accelerator, also told reporters WHO wanted the United States, European Union member states, Britain, Canada and Japan to contribute doses.

Aylward said that a proposal submitted last Friday by the EU to the World Trade Organization to widen Covid-19 vaccine access did not go far enough and said a waiver of patent rights “would add value”.

Reuters

June 07 2021 – 13:15

J&J vaccine drive stalls out in US after safety pause

Safety concerns about Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine along with overall flagging demand for vaccinations have slowed its US rollout to a crawl, leaving close to half of the 21 million doses produced for the United States sitting unused.

J&J’s vaccine was supposed to be an important tool for reaching rural areas and vaccine hesitant Americans because it requires only one shot and has less stringent storage requirements than the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer Inc /BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc.

But Americans have largely eschewed it over the six weeks it has been back in use after a pause to study a rare safety issue, according to data from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and interviews with health officials and pharmacists in eight states across the country.

“We went from having a waiting list to give somebody a shot to having maybe one shot a day or four shots a day,” Michelle Vargas, owner of independent Lamar Family Pharmacy in Lamar, South Carolina, said of plunging demand for the J&J shot in the small rural community. “They’re concerned for their safety.

I think that’s the biggest hurdle right now.

“In the week ended May 25, fewer than 650,000 Americans received the J&J shot, accounting for about 5% of total vaccinations administered and down from nearly 3 million in the week leading up to the pause, CDC data shows.

Demand for all the vaccines has slowed since mid-April, but the drop has been significantly steeper for the J&J shot.

The slowdown may mean some J&J doses will expire unused at a time when global demand for any Covid-19 vaccine is high. J&J doses will be among the 25 million donated by the United States announced by the White House last Thursday

Reuters

June 07 2021 – 11:00

No third wave in KZN yet: 5 things you need to know about Covid-19 in the province

KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala said the province is not in the third wave of Covid-19 infections yet, but warned against complacency which could lead to a surge in infections.

June 07 2021 – 10:55

Doctors’ association calls for tougher Covid-19 restrictions amid third wave fears

As Covid-19 infections are again on the rise, the SA Medical Association (Sama) on Monday called for the government to impose stronger lockdown regulations.

For the past few days, the country has been recording about 5,000 new infections each day.

Sama chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee said stricter curfew restrictions were needed, especially at weekends.

June 07 2021 – 08:30

Senegal aims to make Covid-19 vaccines

Senegal could start manufacturing Covid vaccines as soon as next year, as part of a global push to boost vaccine production in Africa.

June 07 2021 – 07:30

J&J side effects are rare. Here’s the underlying reason for them

Rare side effects have been analysed among the first 288,368 healthcare workers given the J&J vaccine in SA under the Sisonke implementation study, from February 17 to April 12, andpublished in the New England Journal of Medicine.

June 07 2021 – 07:00

Teachers are definitely next in the vaccine queue. The only question is when

It’s official — teaching and non-teaching staff above the age of 40 will be the first in the education sector to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

This is according to a presentation made by the acting director-general of basic education, Granville Whittle, to teacher unions on Friday.