NATIONAL NEWS - As of Friday, 5 February, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,470,516 with 3,749 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.
297 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 49 from Eastern Cape, 40 from Free State, 52 from Gauteng, 35 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 68 from Limpopo, 16 from Mpumalanga, 2 from Northern Cape and 35 from Western Cape.
This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 45,902.
Recoveries now stand at 1,335,618 representing a recovery rate of 90.8%. Meanwhile, a total of 8,436,569 tests have been completed with 36,250 new tests conducted since the last report.
On Thursday evening, Mkhize warned that South Africa and the continent could face a possible third wave of Covid-19.
The minister said the third wave could be more devastating than the first and second waves.
“It is also likely that we might face the third wave and therefore there is no way of being able to prevent it, and its impact will even probably be more devastating,” Mkhize said.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
WHO urges collaboration
The WHO says Europe and pharma groups must work together to speed up vaccinations in the EU where just 2.5 percent of the population has received a first vaccine dose.
J & J jab
Pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson applies for US emergency authorisation of its highly anticipated vaccine, which can be stored at refrigerator temperatures and requires just one dose.
‘Good news for mankind’
The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell says the success of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is “good news for the whole of mankind”, adding that he hopes it can be certified for use in the bloc.
AstraZeneca in Japan
AstraZeneca files for vaccine approval in Japan, with Tokyo yet to authorise any jabs as health authorities complete domestic clinical trials less than six months from the start of the Olympics.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel admits to losing sleep over “tough decisions” for a nation eager for relief from months of virus restrictions in a rare TV interview.
About two million Mozambicans in the cities of Maputo, Matola, Marracuene and Boane – the epicentre of the country’s outbreak – are subject to the first curfew since the civil war ended in 1992.
Canada cruise ban
Canada extends a ban on cruise ships entering its waters through February 2022, barring all vessels carrying more than 100 people.
Man’s best friend
The UK sees an explosion in dog thefts since the pandemic caused demand for pets to surge with one veteran animal welfare worker saying 2020 was “the worst ever year” for dog-nappings.
Indonesia’s economy, Southeast Asia’s biggest, logs its first annual contraction since the 1998 Asian financial crisis, with transportation and tourism among the hardest-hit sectors.
Boxing Day bash backlash
Nine Britons are charged with breaking virus rules in Singapore and could face jail for a Boxing Day yacht party that resulted in viral images of revellers dancing in swimwear and Santa hats.
Australian open relief
An Australian Open testing blitz reveals no new cases putting preparations for the Grand Slam tournament back on track.
Quarantine to continue
Australia says it will maintain a mandatory two-week quarantine for all overseas visitors for lack of evidence showing vaccines’ ability to limit transmission.
More than 2.2 million dead
The coronavirus has killed more than 2,285,334 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally based on official sources.
The countries with the most deaths are the US at 455,875, followed by Brazil with 228,795 and Mexico with 162,922.
The global death toll, calculated from official daily figures published by national health authorities, is an underestimate and does not include later revisions by statistics agencies.