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Coronavirus Watch


Global Statistics

CountryTotal CasesNew CasesTotal DeathsNew DeathsTotal RecoveredActive CasesTotal Tests
South Africa912,477+10,93924,539+254787,782100,1566,100,373 

Global coronavirus infections surpassed the 75 million mark on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, as several nations around the world begin vaccinating against the virus. Britain this month became the first Western country to start immunizing with the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNtech, followed by the United States which has now also approved a vaccine from Moderna.

There have been 18.65 million new cases in the past month, the highest reported for a 30-day period since the pandemic started.

The USA recorded 189,415 new cases on Saturday and the total is now over 17 million cases whilst the death toll is at 323,401.  The country set yet another record for new coronavirus cases on Friday, at almost 250,000, even as a second vaccine, from Moderna, was approved. According to Johns Hopkins University, 249,709 new cases were recorded, up from more than 247,000 on Thursday and part of caseload close to 17.5m. There were 2,814 deaths, down from more than 3,300 on Thursday but still among the deadliest days in US history. The death toll stood at 313,406. The United States became the first country in the world to record more than 300,000 deaths on Monday. The nation is reporting more than 2,500 deaths daily, according to a Reuters analysis of data from the previous seven days. With just 4% of the world’s population, the United States has about 23% of all global cases.

California, the most populous state, recorded more than 41,000 new cases and 300 deaths, both among its highest single-day totals during the pandemic. In the last week, California has reported more than a quarter-million cases and 1,500 deaths.

Europe remains the region with the most cases – 21.6 million cases – followed by North America with 17.9 million, Latin America with 14.5 million and Asia with 13 million. In Europe, a million new cases were recorded over just five days, with Russia and France reporting more than 2 million cases since the coronavirus outbreak began. The United Kingdom and Italy both have approximately 1.9 million cases each.

Brazil registered a single-day record of 70,000 new cases on Wednesday, joining the United States and India as the only countries to have reported more than 7 million total infections. With almost 180,000 confirmed fatalities, the South American nation has the second-highest death toll in the world.

On Saturday, India exceeded 10 million coronavirus infections. India has prepared to deliver 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the most vulnerable people in the next six to eight months. After hitting a peak of nearly 98,000 cases in mid-September, daily infections have averaged around 30 000 in December, helping India widen its gap with the United States, the world’s worst affected country with more than 16 million cases. India took 30 days to add the last million cases, the second slowest since the start of the pandemic

The total number of coronavirus cases in Africa crossed 2.5 million on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally, as a second wave of infections hits the continent. Countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Mauritania, Ghana and Ivory Coast have seen a sharp rise in cases and are reporting near record levels of infection, according to a Reuters tally. Quick measures including travel restrictions and border closures enabled countries in Africa to limit the spread when first cases were reported in March. But the economic impact of the measures prompted governments to ease them.

Nigeria on Friday ordered schools to shut indefinitely, banned concerts, carnivals and street parties and ordered some civil servants to work from home in its commercial capital, Lagos. The Democratic Republic of Congo announced a curfew and other measures, including the mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces.

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As people relax their guards and ditch social distancing measures, infections have spiked. According to a Reuters analysis, Africa has reported about 454,000 new cases in the past 30 days, nearly 18% of its reported total of 2.5 million cases.

South Africa remains the worst-affected African country with 912 477 with 10 939 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.  254 deaths have been reported, bringing the total death toll to 24 539. The country has seen a sharp spike in infections since the start of December.

With the number of coronavirus cases in Eswatini rising, the country announced its COVID-19 regulations on gatherings and travelling, which came to effect immediately after the announcement Friday night. Gatherings are prohibited after 8PM. Night vigils and cross-over events or parties are also prohibited. No gathering of more than 20 people shall take place, people should not consume liquor at a gathering, including a family gathering of more than 20 people.

Zimbabwe recorded 104 new cases of the virus to bring the total to 12,151; of the new cases reported, 96 were local transmissions and the remaining 6 were imported. 2 new deaths were recorded and this brings the number of fatalities to 318. The national recovery rate stands at 82, 2% as recoveries are at 9,984

What is the new Covid strain – and will vaccines work against it?

Viruses mutate all the time. Most of the new variants die out. Sometimes they spread without altering the virus’s behaviour. Very occasionally, they trigger dramatic changes.

And the question now facing scientists is straightforward: does variant VUI-202012/01 fall into this last category? Does it represent an increased health risk? Or has its recent rapid spread through southern England occurred because it has arisen in people who are infecting a lot of other people, possibly because they are ignoring Covid-19 restrictions?

These key questions, debated last week after health secretary Matt Hancock revealed the existence of the new variant, were answered firmly yesterday, by the government’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty. The Guardian

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