NATIONAL NEWS - As of Tuesday, 16 February 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,494,119 with 1,210 new cases identified, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.
219 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 20 from Eastern Cape, 9 from Free State, 56 from Gauteng, 43 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 29 from Limpopo, 10 from Mpumalanga, 10 from Northern Cape and 38 from Western Cape.
This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 48,313.
Recoveries now stand at 1,396,951 representing a recovery rate of 93,5%.
Meanwhile, a total of 8,737,330 tests have been completed with 24,456 new tests conducted since the last report.
These are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
J&J seeks EU nod
Johnson & Johnson has applied for authorisation for its coronavirus vaccine in the European Union, with a decision possible by the middle of March, the European Medicines Agency says.
A Dutch court backs a case brought by Virus Truth, a group which campaigns against coronavirus restrictions, and orders the government to immediately lift a nationwide curfew that sparked the worst riots in the Netherlands for decades.
The Dutch government challenges the decision, and the court of appeal starts hearing the case at 1500 GMT.
Biden goes head on
US President Joe Biden sidesteps a divided Congress and seeks support for his $1.9-trillion economic rescue package from ordinary voters at a televised town hall meeting in Wisconsin, his first presidential trip.
Chinese jab for Hungary
Hungary become the first EU country to receive China’s Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine as an initial batch of 550,000 doses arrives in Budapest.
Back to school in Scotland
Scotland will start allowing children back to school from next week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that schools in England are to remain shut at least until March 8.
North Korean hackers tried to break into the computer systems of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in a search for information on its vaccine and treatment technology, South Korea’s spy agency says, according to reports.
Japan outlines a cautious vaccine rollout a day before jabs begin, with the minister overseeing the process admitting he has “no idea” how much of the population will be vaccinated by this summer’s Olympics.
Dutch economy in record hit
The Dutch economy, the eurozone’s fifth-biggest, shrank 3.8 percent in 2020, its sharpest contraction ever measured, even though the country had far more relaxed coronavirus rules than most of its European counterparts.
South Africa passes on jabs
South Africa offers its doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to the African Union after scrapping their use due to concerns they fail to counter the new variant discovered in the country.
More than 180 million doses
At least 180.86 million anti-Covid vaccine doses have been injected in 96 countries and territories, according to an AFP count based on official sources on Tuesday at 1800 GMT.
More than 2.4 million deaths
The virus has caused at least 2,408,243 deaths since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Tuesday.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 486,332 deaths followed by Brazil with 239,773, Mexico with 174,657, India with 155,813 and Britain with 117,396.