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84 COVID-related deaths in SA, pandemic mutes global New Year celebrations


84 COVID-related deaths in SA, pandemic mutes global New Year celebrations

The NICD says a further 84 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in South Africa, bringing the official number of deaths to 91,145.

People wait in line to get their COVID-19 vaccination at the Witkoppen Clinic in Fourways on 27 July 2021. Picture: @GautengHealth/Twitter

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says a further 84 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in South Africa, bringing the official number of deaths to 91,145.

The NICD said there were 11,754 new cases reported in the past 24-hour period. This increase represents a 27.2% positivity rate.

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority Chairperson Helen Rees said research was underway to see how the virus was changing.

She said this would help researchers to find ways to stop the virus regardless of mutations.

MUTED NEW YEAR UNDER PANDEMIC CLOUD

A New Year shorn of mass celebrations beckons for millions around the world as authorities from Greece to Mexico, from Barcelona to Bali and across swathes of Europe cancel or curtail public gatherings, either closing or imposing curfews on nightclubs.

SOUTH AFRICA ENDS CURFEW

South Africa, where the highly contagious Omicron variant was first detected, says its latest coronavirus wave has likely passed its peak without a significant increase in deaths and that restrictions will be eased for New Year.

PHILIPPINES TIGHTENS RULES

The Philippines tightens coronavirus restrictions in the capital Manila, placing it on the third-highest level of alert from Monday until 15 January, over fears of an “exponential growth” in cases due to Omicron.

TUNISIA CANCELS NY FESTIVITIES

Municipal authorities in the Tunisian capital Tunis cite the “rise in cases” of coronavirus for the last-minute cancellation of a concert and other festivities planned for Bourguiba Avenue, the main city-centre thoroughfare.

ISRAEL STARTS FOURTH JAB

Israel starts giving fourth COVID vaccine shots to people with weakened immunity, becoming one of the first countries to do so in hopes of countering a case surge driven by Omicron.

ENGLAND: HOSPITAL SICK LEAVES DOUBLE

Hospital staff absences due to COVID have more than doubled in a month in England as the virus surge puts strain on beds, according to the National Health Service.

MORE THAN 5.4 MILLION DEAD

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,428,240 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to AFP’s tally Friday from official sources.

Overall, the United States has recorded the most COVID deaths with 824,339, followed by Brazil with 618,984 India on 481,080 and Russia 308,860.

Taking into account excess mortality linked to COVID-19, the World Health Organisation estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.





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