South Africa has identified 6,375 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,921,633.
This increase represents a positivity rate of 19.5 percent, announced the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), a division of the National Health Laboratory Service.
Most of the new cases today come from Gauteng (34%) followed by Western Cape (23%). KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 14%; Eastern Cape accounted for 10% and Free State accounted for 7%. Northern Cape and North West each accounted for 4%; Mpumalanga accounted for 3% and Limpopo accounted for 1% of cases today.
The country also reported 18 deaths and of these, 6 occurred in the past 24-48 hours. This brings total casualties to 100,916 to date.
“Due to the ongoing audit exercise by the National Department of Health (NDoH), there may be a backlog of reported Covid-19 mortality cases,” the NICD said.
25,025,578 tests were conducted in both the public and private sectors.
In the last 24 hours, hospital admissions have increased by 134.
WHO authorizes the Chinese CanSinoBIO Covid-19 vaccine
On Thursday, the World Health Organization gave the green light to the Covid-19 vaccine from Chinese manufacturer CanSinoBIO, the ninth shot to obtain the WHO seal of approval.
WHO has granted emergency use list (EUL) authorization to the single-shot Convidecia vaccine as China battles a resurgence of the virus triggered by the Omicron variant.
It is the third Chinese-made vaccine approved by the United Nations health agency, after Sinovac and Sinopharm.
Convidecia was found to be 64% effective against symptomatic diseases and 92% effective against severe Covid-19, the WHO said.
“The vaccine meets WHO standards for protection against Covid-19 and … the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks,” the UN health agency said in a statement.
WHO vaccine experts have recommended it for people aged 18 and over.
Convidecia can be used as a booster dose after a completed primary series using any other EUL Covid-19 vaccine, the WHO said.
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– traditional vector method –
The jab has already been launched in several countries including China, Argentina, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico and Pakistan.
By the end of 2021, more than 58 million people had already been vaccinated with the vaccine, including nearly 14 million in China, the WHO said.
WHO has now granted EUL status to nine Covid-19 vaccines and their variants: Pfizer / BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Bharat Biotech, Novavax and CanSinoBIO.
Convidecia is based on a modified human adenovirus. The AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines are also both based on viral vector technology.
The more traditional approach uses a genetically modified version of the common cold adenovirus as a “vector” to carry genetic instructions into human cells.
Convidecia “demonstrates a favorable safety profile in people of different age groups,” eliciting strong immune responses with both binding and neutralizing antibodies, the WHO said.
– stamp of approval –
The EUL process studies the quality, safety and efficacy of vaccines and involves manufacturing site inspections.
WHO says EUL approval gives countries, funders, contracting agencies, and communities the confidence that the vaccine has met international standards.
The WHO list paves the way for countries to rapidly approve and import a vaccine for distribution, especially those without their own international standards regulator.
It also opens the door for jabs to enter the Covax global vaccine sharing facility, which aims to provide fair access to doses around the world, particularly in poorer countries.
WHO began reviewing rotating data on the CanSinoBIO vaccine in August.
Other vaccines are also on the way to an EUL decision, with WHO studying the data in rotation on another Sinopharm vaccine, and vaccines from France’s Sanofi, China’s Clover and Zhifei Longcom, and Iran’s Shifa Pharmed.
The EUL process on the Russian Sputnik V jab has stalled.
Hundreds of candidate vaccines are in the works in laboratories around the world.
WHO is aware of 156 that are in clinical development – tested on humans – and 198 that are in the preclinical phase.
Further reporting by the AFP