NATIONAL NEWS - As of Friday, 29 January 2021, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases is 1,443,939 with 6,141 new cases identified, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed.
528 more Covid-19 related deaths were reported, with 95 from Eastern Cape, 10 from Free State, 126 from Gauteng, 195 from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), 16 from Limpopo, 23 from Mpumalanga, 11 from Northern Cape and 52 from Western Cape.
This brings the total number of Covid-19 related deaths to 43,633.
Recoveries now stand at 1,284,781 representing a recovery rate of 89%.
Meanwhile, a total of 8,203,584 tests have been completed with 47,345 new tests conducted since the last report.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
Third vaccine for EU
The European Union’s drug regulator approves the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for use on all adults, as a row with the EU over supplies of the jab escalates.
However Germany’s vaccine commission maintains its advice against using the vaccine on over 65s, citing lack of data.
EU eyes vaccine exports
The EU executive launches a scheme to monitor and in some cases reject exports of vaccines produced in EU plants amid its row with AstraZeneca over delays in deliveries.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) says it expects Johnson & Johnson to submit an application for its coronavirus vaccine “shortly”, after the firm says its single-shot vaccine has an overall efficacy of 66 percent.
Novartis to help Pfizer
Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis says it will help produce the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19, as countries scramble to boost supplies.
People arriving in Canada will have to quarantine in hotels for at least three days under strict supervision and at their own expense, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces.
German travel ban
Germany’s government bans from Saturday to February 17 most travellers from countries hit by new coronavirus variants: Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil, South Africa as well as the southern African kingdoms of Lesotho and Eswatini.
New EU travel curbs
EU member state ambassadors approve a new map of coronavirus danger zones across the 27-nation bloc, allowing authorities to impose stricter regional travel restrictions.
Italy eases curbs
Italy eases coronavirus restrictions in all but five of its regions, despite warnings from public health experts that such a move may be rash.
Stocks lose again
Stock markets end their worst week since October with new losses, on fears of surging infections, slow vaccine rollouts and the weak economic backdrop.
Mexico’s economy, the second largest in Latin America, shrank 8.5 percent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Experts from the World Health Organization visit a Wuhan hospital as fieldwork begins in a closely watched probe that will take in a food market presumed to be “ground zero” of the pandemic.
Chevron loses $5.5 billion
US oil giant Chevron lost $5.5 billion in 2020, concluding a rocky year for oil companies as the coronavirus battered demand for petroleum products.
Cases top 101 million
At least 2,191,865 people have died of coronavirus since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources.
More than 101,436,360 cases have been registered.
The US has suffered the highest toll with 433,206 deaths, followed by Brazil with 221,547 and Mexico with 155,145.
The number of deaths globally is underestimated. The toll is calculated from daily figures published by national health authorities and does not include later revisions by statistics agencies.
African festival postponed
Africa’s biggest film festival, FESPACO, scheduled to run in Burkina Faso’s capital from February 27 to March 6, is postponed because of the pandemic.