Thursday news

Missed out on any news stories this Thursday? Don’t worry, we’ve got you sorted with five of the most important stories that made headlines today.

Keep up to date with all of the latest news stories coming out of South Africa and around the world, visit our News & Politics section.

Biden Follows Through On First Promise

Thursday news
[Image: Reuters]

On his first day in office as President of the United States, Joe Biden has followed through on his promise to sign a flood of executive orders that will reverse several Trump policies regarding issues, such as climate change, and take meaningful action in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic

“There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face.” 

United States President Joe Biden

Read more on BBC.

SA Scientists Say New Variant May Reduce Vaccine Efficacy

Thursday news
[Image: Phill Magakoe/Pool via Reuters]

The new variant of Covid-19 evades the antibodies that attack it in treatments using blood plasma from previously recovered patients, and may reduce the efficacy of the current line of vaccines, according to scientists.

“This lineage exhibits complete escape from three classes of therapeutically relevant monoclonal antibodies. Furthermore, 501Y.V2 shows substantial or complete escape from neutralising antibodies in Covid-19 convalescent plasma, highlight the prospect of reinfection … and may foreshadow reduced efficacy of current spike-based vaccines.”

National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD)

Read more on IOL.

SA Government Paying Double EU’s Price For Covid-19 Vaccines

Thursday news

While scrambling to get their hands on 1.5-million doses of the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield shot, the South African government has agreed to pay the SII $5.25 (about R78) a dose, more than twice the price the EU negotiated directly with AstraZeneca in 2020

“We were advised that SII has applied a tiered pricing system, and given that (SA) is an upper-middle-income country, their price is $5.25. The explanation we were given for why other high-income countries have a lower price is that they have invested in the (research & development), hence the discount on the price.”

Health Department Deputy Director-General, Anban Pillay

Read more on SowetanLIVE

Jackson Mthembu Dies From Covid Complications

[Image: Itumeleng English]

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Thursday that cabinet minister, Jackson Mthembu has passed away as a result of Covid-19 related complications.

“Minister Mthembu was an exemplary leader, an activist and life-long champion of freedom and democracy. He was a much-loved and greatly respected colleague and comrade, whose passing leaves our nation at a loss.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the minister’s family, to his colleagues, comrades and many friends.”

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa

Read more on IOL.

Beijing Sanctions Trump Administration Officials

[Image:Getty Images]

The Chinese government has issued sanctions against Mike Pompeo and 27 other high-ranking officials under former United States President Donald Trump, accusing them of “prejudice and hatred against China.”

“(They) have planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-US relations.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry

Read more on CNN.

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