Over 1 000 new Covid-19 cases in SA
Cape Town – The cumulative number of detected Covid-19-related cases is 717 851, with 1 092 new cases identified since the last report, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.
A total of 891 new Covid-19 cases were identified yesterday, with 40 more deaths.
Mkhize said there were 45 more Covid-19-related deaths: 10 in the Eastern Cape, 4 in Gauteng, 12 in the Free State, 5 in KwaZulu-Natal, 3 in Mpumalanga, and 11 in the Western Cape.
This brings the total number of deaths to 19 053. The number of recoveries now stand at 647 833, which translates to a recovery rate of 90%.
The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 4 726 875, with 17 472 new tests conducted since the last report.
If South Africa is headed for a second wave of coronavirus infections, it could hit rural areas harder, the Scientists Collective group has suggested.
“A resurgence in settings where there was a high force of infection during the first wave is likely to be of a lower magnitude than experienced with the first wave," said the group, which includes some of the most eminent experts in infectious disease and public health in SA.
"Conversely, communities with low rates of infection in the first wave, may be disproportionately affected during a resurgence of Covid-19."
Meanwhile, some people are at greater risk of severe Covid-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. According to a recent study, autoreactive antibody production may explain why this happens.
The study, which was published in preprint server medRxiv, explains that instead of targeting disease-causing microbes, these immune proteins, called autoantibodies, target the tissues of patients suffering from severe Covid-19.
Harvard Health explains that autoantibodies attack several different parts of the body, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage in the joints, skin, kidney, nervous system (brain and spinal cord), blood, and heart, among others.
More than this, they can also attach themselves to body chemicals and form abnormal molecules (known as “immune complexes”) that trigger additional inflammation when they are deposited in the body’s organs and tissues.
Antibodies against the novel coronavirus declined rapidly in the British population during the summer, a study found on Tuesday, suggesting protection after infection may not be long lasting and raising the prospect of waning immunity in the community.
Scientists at Imperial College London have tracked antibody levels in the British population following the first wave of Covid-19 infections in March and April.
Their study found that antibody prevalence fell by a quarter, from 6% of the population around the end of June to just 4.4% in September.
European governments prepared on Tuesday to introduce new restrictions to try to curb a growing surge of coronavirus infections and provide economic balm to help businesses survive the pandemic.
More than 43.4 million people have been infected by the coronavirus globally and 1 158 056 have died, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States leading the way in the number of infections and deaths.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets across Italy to vent their anger at the latest round of restrictions, including early closing for bars and restaurants, with demonstrations in some cities turning violent.
In the financial capital Milan, youths hurled petrol bombs at police, who responded with volleys of tear gas. In nearby Turin, luxury shops had their windows smashed and some were ransacked, leading to the arrest of 10 rioters.
The Australian state of Victoria, the epicentre of Covid-19 infections, said on Tuesday it had gone 48 hours without detecting any new cases for the first time in more than seven months.
Victoria, the second most populous state, will allow restaurants and cafes in Melbourne to reopen from Wednesday after more than three months under a stringent lockdown.