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Sunday, 24 October 2021 22:18

Covid-19 Daily Update:Cases in SA decline as country records 300 new cases.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD),reports 300 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2 919 632. This increase represents a 1.4% positivity rate.

NICD said a further 11 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 88 925 to date.

Vaccine Update:
For updates on the national vaccine programme, click here.

The NICD urged the public to take preventative measures such as getting vaccinated for Covid-19, wearing your mask properly to cover your nose, and to gather in ventilated spaces if you have to attend an event; otherwise avoid unnecessary gatherings. It also urged the public to keep a social distance of one metre or more and to wash hands regularly through the day with soap and water.

Meanwhile Namibia has discontinued the use of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine following concerns raised by neighbouring South Africa, the health ministry said on Saturday.

South Africa earlier this week said it would not approve Sputnik V due to concerns it could increase the risk of HIV infection among men, a claim the vaccine's developer says is unfounded.

The Namibian health ministry said in a statement that following South Africa's decision it was suspending, with immediate effect, use of the shots until the formula is listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

"The reason for discontinuation of the administration of the vaccine is being done out of abundance of caution that men who received Sputnik V may be at higher risk of contracting HIV when exposed to it," said the ministry.

Namibia had taken delivery of a Serbian donation of 30,000 Sputnik doses -- out of which less than 120 have been administered so far.

South Africa's health products regulator on Monday said it would not authorise use of Sputnik based on earlier studies testing the safety of a modified form of adenovirus -- a type of virus that causes respiratory infections -- known as the Ad5 and contained in the jab.

The regulator said two previous studies, one in South Africa and one in the Americas, found a heightened risk of HIV infection among men linked to the Ad5-vectored vaccine.

In both trials, "administration of an Ad5-vectored vaccine was associated with enhanced susceptibility/acquisition of HIV in men", the regulator said last week.

Russia's Gamaleya Centre, which developed Sputnik V, says any allegation of a link between the vaccine and HIV is unfounded.

It says clinical studies on more than 7,000 participants showed "there was no statistically significant increase of HIV-1 infection among adenovirus type-5 vectored vaccine recipients."