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via deccanherald10/24/2020

Rugby: South African match called off after six players test Covid-19 positive - Deccan Herald

A South African Super Rugby Unlocked match scheduled for Johannesburg Saturday was called off after six Lions players tested positive for coronavirus before hosting the Cheetahs. It is the first match in the republic to be postponed because of Covid-19 since competitive rugby restarted on October 9 after being suspended since mid March. The Lions announced this week that there

via iaea.org10/23/2020

African National Liaison Officers Discuss IAEA's Technical Cooperation Priorities, COVID-19 Assistance to Africa - International Atomic Energy Agency

National Liaison Officers (NLOs) from across Africa met virtually on 6 and 7 October to exchange experiences and to discuss pertinent issues related to the development of the 2022-2023 TC programme, as well as to the implementation of the ongoing TC programme in the Africa region against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

via nature10/21/2020

A pooled testing strategy for identifying SARS-CoV-2 at low prevalence -

Suppressing SARS-CoV-2 will likely require the rapid identification and isolation of infected individuals on an ongoing basis. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests are accurate but costly, making regular testing of every individual expensive. The costs are a challenge for all countries and particularly for developing countries. Cost reductions can be achieved by pooling (or combining) subsamples and testing them in groups1–7. A balance must be struck between increasing the group size and retaining test sensitivity, since sample dilution increases the likelihood of false negatives for individuals with low viral load in the sampled region at the time of the test8. Likewise, minimising the number of tests to reduce costs must be balanced against minimising the time testing takes to reduce the spread of infection. Here we propose an algorithm for pooling subsamples based on the geometry of a hypercube that, at low prevalence, accurately identifies infected individuals in a small number of tests and rounds of testing. We discuss the optimal group size and explain why, given the highly infectious nature of the disease, largely parallel searches are preferred. We report proof of concept experiments in which a positive subsample was detected even when diluted 100-fold with negative subsamples (cf. 30-fold to 48-fold dilution in Refs. 9–11). We quantify the loss of sensitivity due to dilution and discuss how it may be mitigated by frequent re-testing of groups, for example. With the use of these methods, the cost of mass testing could be reduced by a large factor which, furthermore, increases as the prevalence falls. Field trials of our approach are under way in Rwanda and South Africa. The use of group testing on a massive scale to closely and continually monitor infection in a population, along with rapid and effective isolation of infected people, provides a promising pathway to the longterm control of COVID-19.

via republicworld10/19/2020

COVID-19 vaccine: WHO backs India & South Africa’s bid to ease Intellectual Property rules - Republic World - Republic World

Stay informed with today’s latest news from India & around the world. Get all the breaking news & current Indian news on politics, sports and entertainment only on Republic World. We provide the most in-depth coverage of top national news with timely breaking of all the recent news on politics, sports & entertainment

via bloomberg10/12/2020

South Africa Won’t Meet Debt Targets, President’s Council Says - Bloomberg

South Africa won’t be able to meet its finance ministry’s debt targets and it may be undesirable for it to attempt to do so at a time when the economy is being battered by the fallout from the coronavirus, according to an advisory panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

via guardian.ng10/09/2020

Coronavirus – South Africa: MEC Blessing Thandi Shongwe tests positive for Coronavirus COVID-19 - Guardian

The MEC for Social Development in Mpumalanga Province, Ms. Blessing Thandi Shongwe (MPL) tested positive for COVID-19. The MEC went for a mandatory COVID-19 testing on the 7th of October 2020 as required by the current hospitals admission policy as she was supposed to undergo a scheduled eye medical procedure. MEC is currently in self […]

via just-drinks10/08/2020

South Africa's wine industry is on its knees and it's not just thanks to COVID - comment -

South Africa's wine producers have been hard-done-by this year, more so than any other wine-producing nation. As Chris Losh explains, the country's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is a case study in 'How not to support your high-profile industries'. related to Wine,

via weartv10/23/2020

AstraZeneca resuming US testing of COVID-19 vaccine - WEAR

AstraZeneca Inc. announced Friday that regulators are letting it resume testing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the U. S. Testing of the vaccine was halted worldwide early last month because of a British study volunteer's illness. Studies have already resumed in other countries, and the British drugmaker said the Food and Drug Administration gave the company the go-ahead Friday to resume U. S. testing.

via metro.us10/16/2020

South Africa’s coronavirus cases cross 700,000, says health ministry - Metro US

<div class="at-above-post addthis_tool" data-url=""></div>JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African coronavirus cases reported since the first infection in early March surpassed 700,000 on Friday, the health ministry said, amid fears of an impending second wave as the nation battles an economic recession. Some 2,019 new cases were identified on Friday, taking the total to 700,203 the ministry said. There have […]<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url=""></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Related Posts below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post-recommended addthis_tool" ></div><!-- AddThis Related Posts generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->

via za.usembassy.gov10/09/2020

Partnership Sparks Local Production of COVID-19 Protective Equipment - US Embassy in South Africa

South Africa, 8 October 2020  – Over a hundred thousand locally produced COVID-19 masks are helping to save lives in a high need area in the Western Cape, thanks to an innovative partnership between the U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the British High Commission in Pretoria to support ...

via devdiscourse10/08/2020

Rugby-South African rugby makes belated return after COVID-19 lockdown - Devdiscourse

Two weekends of warm-up matches have raised concerns about the readiness of the world champion Springboks for the Rugby Championship in Australia next month, where they will take on the hosts, Argentina and New Zealand in the annual competition. While dates and venues have been set, South Africa have repeatedly cautioned about the possibility of not being able to take part due to lack of preparation time, as well as travel restrictions and quarantine concerns.

via deccanherald10/21/2020

England's white-ball tour of South Africa to go ahead amid SA government threat - Deccan Herald

England's limited-overs tour of South Africa will go ahead despite the administrative chaos engulfing South African cricket. The England and Wales Cricket Board said Wednesday that three Twenty20s and three one-day internationals will take place behind closed doors in Cape Town and Paarl starting in November. Both the ECB and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have agreed to

via cleveland10/19/2020

Experimental coronavirus vaccines: When they will roll out, side effects and what it all means for you -

In Ohio, Pfizer and its partner BioNTechSE, and Moderna —forerunners in the race to develop a vaccine — are conducting trials at research centers across the state to determine their safety and efficacy.Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is the site of a two-year, phase 3 trial of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish company, and the University of Oxford. University Hospitals and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center are among 120 clinical investigational sites around the world that will collectively enroll up to 44,000 participants in a phase 3 trial to test the vaccine BNT162b2, developed by Pfizer and the German company BioNTechSE.

via voanews10/16/2020

Coronavirus Pandemic Worsens Hunger, Malnutrition in Parts of Africa - Voice of America

Hunger and malnutrition are worsening in parts of the African continent because of the coronavirus pandemic, especially in low-income communities or those already stricken by continued conflict, according to a survey of 2,400 people in 10 African countries by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The survey, conducted from June to August, shows the pandemic has caused job losses and curtailed people’s ability to farm or access markets. Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can download this video to view it offline. Download File


Totally Under Control — how the United States (and South Africa) screwed up the coronavirus response - Daily Maverick

Totally Under Control, a new film co-directed by documentarian Alex Gibney, lays bare the insanity at the heart of the Donald Trump administration’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. By extension, it proves that the modern technocratic state has crumbled under the weight of neoliberal austerit...

via schengenvisainfo10/12/2020

Lithuania Removes 21 Countries From Its List of COVID-19 High-Risk Countries -

Lithuania’s government has removed from its COVID-19 red list 21 countries, travellers from which will no longer be required to follow the two-weeks quarantine rule when attempting to enter the country, Lithuania’s Ministry of Health has announced through a press release. Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Norway, Italy, Germany and the Faroe Islands have been removed from […]

via thescarlet.org10/09/2020

South Africa Bids Farewell to Super Rugby: What is SARU's future? - The Scarlet

In late September, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) pulled its teams out of Super Rugby. This shocking announcement followed New Zealand’s decision to host Super Rugby Aotearoa, a domestic competition exclusively between the Australian and Kiwi teams. This decision was surprising since it effectively excluded South Africa. The four SARU teams, the Bulls, Lions,...