NATIONAL NEWS - As of Wednesday, 3 February, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,463,016 with 4,058 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.
398 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 46 from Eastern Cape, 12 from Free State, 97 from Gauteng, 138 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 8 from Limpopo, 21 from Mpumalanga, 9 from Northern Cape and 67 from Western Cape.
Recoveries now stand at 1,323,680 representing a recovery rate of 90.5%.
Meanwhile, a total of 8,369,287 tests have been completed with 39,596 new tests conducted since the last report.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
WHO go to Wuhan lab
World Health Organization inspectors visit the Chinese contagious diseases laboratory in Wuhan which Donald Trump controversially claimed might have been the source of the virus.
600,000 Latin America deaths
The death toll in Latin America and the Caribbean passes the 600,000 mark, the second highest number of fatalities after Europe.
Vaccine for variants
British pharmaceutical group GlaxoSmithKline and German biotech firm CureVac announce plans to jointly develop a jab with the potential to counter multiple variants.
EU: Show us the data
European Union Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen says jabs from Russia and China could be approved for use in the bloc if they “show all the data”.
Sputnik for Mexico
Mexico’s health regulator approves Russia’s Sputnik V jab for emergency use a day after The Lancet medical journal published results showing the vaccine to be safe and 91.6 percent effective.
And the world?
A Kremlin spokesman says Russia is working to increase production of its Sputnik V vaccine abroad.
Made in France
A French lab will start producing Moderna’s shot in March, while another will begin making the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech in April.
President Emmanuel Macron says all French people who want a vaccine will be offered one “by the end of the summer”.
AstraZeneca slows spread
The UK says its rapid one-shot vaccination strategy is vindicated by a study showing the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab significantly reduces virus transmission and is protective after a single dose.
Saudi bans 20 countries
Saudi Arabia suspends entry from 20 countries including the United States, Egypt, the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, eight European countries as well as Argentina, Brazil, India, Japan and South Africa.
China vaccine for Pakistan
Pakistan begins administering China’s Sinopharm jab to frontline health workers, but the country is still months away from a mass roll-out.
Japan strengthens its rules allowing officials to fine bars and restaurants that defy closure requests.
Cricket bubble toll
Sports psychologists warn quarantine restrictions are taking a toll on cricket players on long tours, and that Asian players feel a particular “stigma” about coming forward.
China Covax donation
Beijing says it will provide 10 million doses to the WHO-backed international vaccine distribution programme Covax.
Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix becomes his football team’s third player in two weeks to test positive along with Yannick Carrasco and Mario Hermoso.
More than 2.2 million dead
The coronavirus has killed more than 2,253,813 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally based on official sources at 1230 GMT.
The countries with the most deaths are the US on 446,901, Brazil 226,309 and Mexico 159,533.
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.