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Covid-19

Nigerian VP calls for natural gas to be accepted as a transition fuel

By: Darren Parker     21st January 2022 Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for natural gas – which Africa has in abundance – to be accepted by the rest of the globe as a transitional fuel. In his address to the Davos Agenda 2022 – hosted by the World Economic Forum – on January 21, Osinbajo reminded world leaders that,... 

Africa joins race to acquire Pfizer's Covid-19 Paxlovid pills

By: Reuters     13th January 2022 Africa's top public health body said it was in talks with Pfizer about securing supplies of its antiviral Covid-19 pills for the continent, the latest to join the race for a drug seen as a potential game changer in fighting the virus. The Paxlovid medication was nearly 90% effective in preventing... 

Govt departments urged to focus on integrated disaster risk reduction

By: Donna Slater     12th January 2022 Disaster risk reduction (DRR) should be a priority for government at all levels, but failures in adequately addressing major factors, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and growing economic hardship in South Africa, point to insufficient capacity and commitment to carry through on this... 

An image of a flooded road
A flooded road in South Africa

World Bank forecasts South African growth of only 2.1% in 2022 

By: Terence Creamer     11th January 2022 The World Bank is forecasting that growth in South Africa will slow to only 2.1% in 2022 amid decelerating global and regional growth, reflective of continued Covid-19 flare-ups, diminished fiscal support, and lingering supply bottlenecks. The bank’s latest ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report,... 

World Bank warns that low Covid-19 vaccination rates in Africa pose a threat of renewed and more severe outbreaks
World Bank warns that low Covid-19 vaccination rates in Africa pose a threat of renewed and more severe outbreaks

Global air cargo demand up 3.7%, capacity down 7.6% for Nov

By: Donna Slater     11th January 2022 The latest global air cargo market data released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) shows slow growth in November, as supply chain disruptions and capacity constraints impacted on demand, despite economic conditions remaining favourable for the sector. The baseline comparison... 

Studies suggest Omicron has higher 'asymptomatic carriage'

By: Reuters     11th January 2022 Preliminary findings from two South African clinical trials suggest the Omicron coronavirus variant has a much higher rate of "asymptomatic carriage" than earlier variants, which could explain why it has spread so rapidly across the globe. The studies - one of which was carried out when Omicron... 

Rand facing Covid-19, political risks in 2022 – DG Capital

By: Donna Slater     11th January 2022 Although the rand ended 2021 “on the back foot” at R15.89/$, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 will remain a significant unknown in the financial market for 2022 as it is proving to be more transmissible but less severe than earlier variants, reports financial services solutions company DG Capital... 

With shots finally on hand, nations struggle to get them in arms

By: Bloomberg     9th January 2022 As shipments of Covid-19 shots ramp up for billions of people left behind last year, and new vaccines make their way to the public, dozens of countries are struggling to turn supplies into inoculations. A dearth of immunization sites in Cameroon, weak communication and Covid denial in the... 

ANC urges vaccine mandate to help restart economy

By: Bloomberg     9th January 2022 South Africa’s ruling party urged the government to finalize a policy on vaccine mandates for certain settings and activities as it seeks to fully reopen the coronavirus-battered economy. “The success of our economic recovery depends to a large measure on our ability to effectively manage... 

Covid vaccination

South African study to compare J&J, Pfizer Covid-19 boosters

By: Bloomberg     7th January 2022 Researchers have started recruiting South African health workers to take part in a vaccine trial that will compare the use of Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Covid-19 shots as boosters. The health workers being targeted for the study were part of an initial trial known as Sisonke that saw almost... 

Tie pharma CEO pay to fair global Covid-19 vaccine access, investors say

By: Reuters     7th January 2022 A group of institutional investors representing $3.5-trillion in assets under management on Thursday called on pharmaceutical companies to link their executives' pay to making Covid-19 vaccines available around the globe. While the majority of citizens of wealthy nations are vaccinated and many... 

A Covid-19 vaccine being administered

Africa CDC says severe lockdowns no longer tool to contain Covid-19 

By: Reuters     6th January 2022 Africa's top public health official said on Thursday that he was encouraged by the way that South Africa had handled its latest Covid-19 wave driven by the Omicron variant, adding that severe lockdowns were no longer the best way to contain the virus. "We are very encouraged with what we saw in... 

A Covid-19 vaccine being administered

SA to retain 'Level 1' curbs in Omicron fight

By: Reuters     16th December 2021 The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) has retained its lockdown at 'adjusted level 1', or the lowest of a five-tier system of restrictions, in the battle on the Omicron variant, health authorities said on Thursday. In the past few days, South Africa has reported more than 20 000 new... 

Tourism industry welcomes removal of Southern African countries from UK travel red list

By: Donna Slater     15th December 2021 The UK government’s lifting of South Africa’s travel red listing, effective from 04:00 on December 15, has been welcomed by the South African tourism and travel industry, which was severely impacted as both South Africans were put off from traveling to the UK and UK citizens were cautioned... 

Medical schemes organisation welcomes lower Covid-19 PCR test costs 

By: Schalk Burger     14th December 2021 Medical schemes industry organisation the Health Funders Association (HFA) on December 14 welcomed the announcement by Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele that the price of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 tests has been reduced from R850, including value-added tax and any... 

Salba urges government to use ‘science and logic’ to handle Omicron

By: Donna Slater     14th December 2021 The South African Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has written to the National Coronavirus Command Council expressing concern about the rise in Covid-19 infections and calling on the government to apply a science-based approach and not rush to a “knee-jerk” response as it has in the past.... 

Starbucks South Africa continues nationwide expansion, achieves full vaccination status in ten stores

By: Donna Slater     14th December 2021 Coffee company Starbucks South Africa, after inheriting 13 stores after five years under its previous owners, is continuing its expansion plans throughout the country under the stewardship of its new licensee – Rand Capital Coffee – in December 2019. CEO Adrian Maizey and his team set out plans... 

An image of Starbucks SOuth Africa's Cradlestone outlet
Starbucks South Africa's Cradlestone outlet

Pathcare jumps on board to reduce Covid-19 PCR test price

By: News24Wire      14th December 2021 The Competition Commission has confirmed it has concluded a settlement agreement with the third largest laboratory - Pathcare - to reduce its Covid-19 PCR tests prices with immediate effect. The Pathcare settlement agreement comes at the back of an official announcement by the Competition... 

Lancet, Ampath agree to reduce Covid-19 PCR test cost to R500

By: News24Wire      12th December 2021 South Africa's two biggest private laboratories agreed to reduce the price of the Covid-19 PCR test from R850 to R500, with smaller laboratories expected to follow suit, the Competition Commission said on Sunday. The commission launched a probe into Covid-19 test pricing in October. The... 

A Covid test sample

Sahpra approves affordable, locally developed Covid-19 antigen test

By: Yvonne Silaule     9th December 2021 South Africa's fight against Covid-19 has received a boost with the approval by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) of a locally developed Covid-19 antigen detection kit. The approved antigen detection device is a rapid visual immunoassay for the qualitative detection... 

Busa corrects Nxesi on mandatory vaccination declaratory order stance

By: Donna Slater     9th December 2021 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) disputes a December 7 claim by Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi that it has approach the Constitutional Court seeking a mandatory vaccination declaratory order. Nxesi claimed during the National Economic Development and Labour Council’s yearly summit... 

Sahpra approves Pfizer booster dose in S Africa to curb Omicron variant

By: Sane Dhlamini     9th December 2021 The South African Health Products Authority (Sahpra) has approved a third booster dose for South Africans following the outbreak of the Omicron Covid-19 variant. This follows concerns at early evidence suggesting that the Omicron has a higher re-infection risk. 

Image of Covid-19 vaccines

Nedlac to approach Constitutional Court next year over mandatory vaccination  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th December 2021 The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) would approach the Constitutional Court early next year about proposals to implement mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations. During a keynote address at the twenty-sixth Nedlac Summit, on December 7, Employment and Labour Minister Thulas... 

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi
Photo by Creamer Media
Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi

MTN makes Covid-19 vaccines mandatory for its employees

By: News24Wire      6th December 2021 MTN has joined a growing number of South African companies that have implemented a vaccine mandate amid the battle with the fourth wave of Covid-19 and the new Omicron variant.  Africa's largest mobile network operator said that those employees who refuse vaccinations, without a valid reason,... 

MTN logo

NCCC to convene to assess Omicron variant situation 

By: Thabi Madiba     6th December 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday while it is not yet known what impact the Omicron variant will have on hospital admissions government has been preparing hospitals to admit more patients. He said government is also investigating how it can quickly secure medication for treating Covid-19.... 

Image of President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

UJ implements mandatory vaccination  

By: Sashnee Moodley     3rd December 2021 The University of Johannesburg announced on Friday its decision to institute mandatory vaccination at all its campuses and facilities from January 2022. It will consider religious and medical exemptions but stressed that collective rights will take precedence as per Section 36 of the... 

Covid-19 vaccine

Virus-battered South Africa readies mandatory vaccine policy

By: Bloomberg     3rd December 2021 South Africa, which is contending with a massive upsurge in coronavirus infections following the onset of the omicron variant, is readying a mandatory vaccine policy and is set to implement it early next year, a senior labour union official said. Broad agreement has been reached on the policy in... 

Virus-battered South Africa readies mandatory vaccine policy

South Africa sees rise in Covid reinfections from Omicron, mild symptoms – scientist

By: Reuters     2nd December 2021 South Africa is seeing an increase in Covid-19 reinfections due to the Omicron variant but symptoms for reinfected patients and those infected after vaccination appear to be mild, a scientist studying the outbreak of the new strain said. The new variant, which has caused global fears of a surge... 

A Covid vaccine

If more people don't vaccinate, mandatory vaccinations could be the only option - David Makhura  

By: News24Wire      2nd December 2021 Gauteng Premier David Makhura has warned that if more people don't have themselves vaccinated voluntarily, mandatory orders could be implemented. Speaking during an update on the province's Covid-19 situation, the premier lamented the low vaccination turnout. So far, more than seven-million... 

Gauteng Premier David Makhura
Gauteng Premier David Makhura

Minerals Council, SAAFF outline requirements to get Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border congestion resolved

By: Donna Slater     2nd December 2021 With delays at the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border post on the Maputo corridor between South Africa and Mozambique having cost trucking companies R1.3-billion in lost revenue this year, the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) and the Minerals Council South Africa have requested... 

An image of freight trucks lining up for several kilometres on the N4 towards Komatipoort in South Africa
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Freight trucks lining up for several kilometres on the N4 towards the Lebombo/Ressano Garcia border post in South Africa

Aspen SA closer to launching own-branded vaccine, called Aspenovax, for Africa 

30th November 2021 Pharmaceutical company Aspen’s wholly-owned South African subsidiary, Aspen SA Operations, has signed a nonbinding term sheet with Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, two of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, that will form the basis for the negotiation... 

Pic of Covid-19 Vaccines with South African flag in background.

Institute of Risk Management welcomes vaccination drive, mandatory vaccination task team

By: Schalk Burger     30th November 2021 The Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA) has welcomed a renewed call by President Cyril Ramaphosa to accelerate the administration of Covid-19 vaccines and the establishment of a task team to consider mandatory vaccinations. “The laudable discovery by South African scientists of a... 

Nedlac to hold emergency meetings on vaccine mandates, access restrictions for unvaccinated

By: Terence Creamer     29th November 2021 The social partners participating in the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) will hold emergency meetings this week about the institution of workplace vaccine mandates and the imposition of public access restrictions for the unvaccinated amid low vaccine uptake levels, the... 

Image of a Covid syringe

Scientists working around the clock to understand Omicron variant – Health Minister 

By: Thabi Madiba     29th November 2021 Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said citizens can be confident that in a matter of days and weeks health department’s scientists will have gotten to the bottom of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Phaahla reiterated President Cyril Rampahosa’s message on Sunday evening, when he said the best weapon to... 

Image of Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla
Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla

Omicron poses "very high" global risk, world must prepare – WHO

By: Reuters     29th November 2021 The Omicron coronavirus variant is likely to spread internationally, posing a "very high" global risk of infection surges that could have "severe consequences" some areas, the World Health Organisation said on Monday. The UN agency urged its 194 member states to accelerate vaccination of... 

WHO logo

Renergen offering 20 Cryo-Vacc units for any company’s use in Dec

By: Simone Liedtke     29th November 2021 In light of the anticipated fourth wave of Covid-19 infections that is about to grip the country, South African company Renergen is offering the use of 20 of its Jumbo Cryo-Vacc units, at its own cost, for December, to assist in ensuring safe transportation of the estimated 16-million doses. This... 

Pic of Renergen's Cryo-Vacc unit.
The Cryo-Vacc unit.

South Africa to convene coronavirus council after new variant found

By: Reuters     26th November 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa will convene the National Coronavirus Command Council on Sunday, a government statement said, after scientists detected a new Covid-19 variant in the country. Decisions taken by the council inform the government's stance on the Covid-19 pandemic, including the level of... 

Cyril Ramaphosa
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