The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases identified in South Africa rose to 1 576 320 on Monday, with 849 new cases reported.
A total of 38 more Covid-19-related deaths have been reported: Western Cape 17, Eastern Cape 5, Free State 5, Limpopo 5, Gauteng 3, Northern Cape 2, and KwaZulu-Natal 1, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement. No deaths were reported in Mpumalanga and North West.
This brings the death toll to 54 186. The cumulative recoveries now stand at 1 501 880, representing a recovery rate of 95%.
The number of tests conducted to date is 10 545 817. Of these, 14 838 tests were conducted since the last report.
The European Commission said on Monday it had launched legal action against AstraZeneca for not respecting its contract for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines and for not having a “reliable” plan to ensure timely deliveries.
AstraZeneca said in response that the legal action by the EU was without merit and pledged to defend itself strongly in court.
Under the contract, the Anglo-Swedish company had committed to making its “best reasonable efforts” to deliver 180 million vaccine doses to the EU in the second quarter of this year, for a total of 300 million in the period from December to June.
Latin Americans, hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, are struggling to get vaccinated, a threat to the region’s fragile economic recovery as lockdowns tighten amid a dangerous surge of infections and rising death tolls.
The region of some 660 million people has recorded almost 30% of the world’s 3.2 million Covid-19 deaths to date, despite being home to just 8% of the world’s population. While countries in Africa and Asia also lag behind Europe and North America on inoculations, health experts say Latin America’s need for vaccines is the most urgent.
The scarcity comes down to a few factors: high-income countries snapped up most of the available doses, and Latin American officials have cited difficulties sealing deals for their own people. A plan to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine locally has been hit by delays, and suppliers like Russia have faced their own hold-ups.
Meanwhile, the global Covax programme to supply vaccines to poorer countries has been bogged down by production glitches, a lack of support from wealthy nations, and a recent move by India, the biggest vaccine manufacturer, to curb exports.
The European Union plans to open its doors to Americans who have been vaccinated by this summer, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
Israel’s Health Ministry said it is examining a small number of cases of heart inflammation in people who had received Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, though it has not yet drawn any conclusions.
Pfizer said it has not observed a higher rate of the condition than would normally be expected in the general population.
Israel’s pandemic response coordinator, Nachman Ash, said that a preliminary study showed “tens of incidents” of myocarditis occurring among more than 5 million vaccinated people, primarily after the second dose.
Ash said it was unclear whether this was unusually high and whether it was connected to the vaccine. Most of the cases were reported among people up to age 30.
In other news – Photos: Inside Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha’s beautiful traditional wedding
The two whose real names are Bongekile Simelane and Mandla Maphumulo tied the knot in their traditional wedding held at Ebandla hotel, Ballito in Durban, KZN. Learn More