South Africa may be first in region to produce coronavirus vaccine

South Africa may sign a deal to help produce a Covid-19 vaccine, potentially boosting access to immunization on a continent with limited manufacturing capacity. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a global organization funding vaccine development, is considering the Cape Town-based Biovac Institute as a fill-finish site, according to Helen Rees, the chair of the organization’s Scientific Advisory Board. The state vaccine company is one of few in the country that has the capacity to package doses into sterile dispensers if clinical trials are successful. “What we are looking at…

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Africa Covid19 Government Healthcare 

‘We have now reached the surge’: South Africa braces for deadly impact of coronavirus COVID-19

In a country named by the World Bank as the most unequal place on earth, the coronavirus has ripped open old wounds in South Africa. Despite the end of white minority rule more than two decades ago, some experts suggest a recent lockdown has highlighted how urban areas are still divided along racial lines. As predominantly white South Africans isolated themselves in suburban compounds with gardens and space, community advocate Edward Molopi says many black people didn’t have that luxury. “Data from the Western Cape demonstrates that black townships have…

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South Africa sees surge in COVID-19 as restrictions lifted

The lifting of the lockdown and social distancing measures has caused a surge of coronavirus infections in South Africa. The total number of cases is now approaching 210,000 and the number of deaths is over 3,300. This makes South Africa the country with the second highest number of deaths, behind Egypt, and the largest number of cases on the continent. The numbers are expected to peak in July and August, particularly in Gauteng, the country’s industrial hub—where the sharp increases in cases could overwhelm the province’s health system—as well as…

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Energy 

South Africa to develop plan for new 2,500 MW nuclear plant

South Africa will soon start developing a plan for a new 2,500 megawatt (MW) nuclear power plant, the energy ministry told lawmakers on Thursday. Africa’s most industrialised economy, which operates the continent’s only nuclear power plant near Cape Town, said last year that it was considering adding more nuclear capacity in the long term, after abandoning in 2018 a massive nuclear expansion championed by former president Jacob Zuma. Analysts had expressed serious concern about Zuma’s project for a fleet of nuclear plants totalling 9,600 MW because it would have put…

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Africa Covid19 Government Healthcare 

South Africa had its biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases

South Africa has hit a number of concerning landmarks in its tracking of the spread of the coronavirus – including the largest daily jump in cases seen to-date, and two further provinces hitting over 10,000 cases. According to the latest figures published by the health department and health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, as of 14 June 2020, the country has 70,038 confirmed cases of Covid-19. This reflects a daily jump of 4,302 new‬ cases from the 65,736 infections on Saturday when the country recorded 3,809 new cases. The minister announced…

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