Covid-19 update: Santa given green-light, new strain dominates in SA

Covid-19 update: Santa given green-light, new strain dominates in SA

The World Health Organization has cleared Santa as immune to Covid-19 and permitted to travel around the world. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in SA.

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The pandemic won't stop Santa from travelling across the world and distributing his gifts as usual.

This is according to the World Health Organization who says it understands that children are concerned about how the crisis would affect Father Christmas.

Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on Covid-19:

Mainstream

Santa has been given the all-clear by the WHO. Image: Noam Galai
Source: Getty Images

1. WHO gives Santa all-clear

The Covid-19 pandemic won't be stopping Santa from travelling across the world to hand out gifts this Christmas.

Maria Van Kerkhove, who is leading the WHO's response to the crisis, told a press briefing that Santa is in the clear:

"I understand the concern for Santa, because he is of older age. I can tell you that Santa Claus is immune to this virus. We had a brief chat with him and he is doing very well and Mrs Claus is doing very well, and they are very busy right now."
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She revealed that the WHO had heard from many world leaders, who had confirmed that they had relaxed quarantine measures that are hampering global travel in order to help Santa get around.

2. New strain of Covid-19 confirmed

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that a new variant of Covid-19 has been identified in SA and is currently widely found.

However, it remains unclear at this point whether or not this strain is more severe than the original.

This new variant has emerged as the dominant strain in SA and is making 'young and previously healthy people severely ill'.

3. Mkhize on latest statistics

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has once again updated South Africans on the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued on Friday night, Mkhize commented on the latest infections, saying that:

"Today the cumulative number of cases stands at 901 538 with 8 725 new cases identified since the last report."
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In addition to the infections, Mkhize confirmed the latest fatalities in South Africa:

"Regrettably, 274 more COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 92 , Free State 6, Gauteng 15, Kwa-Zulu Natal 56, Mpumalanga 4 and Western Cape 101. This brings the total deaths to 24 285 deaths."

Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has reached out to remind SA of the risk amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

While many are gearing up to celebrate the festive season, Mboweni's family is mourning the loss of one of their own.

Taking to social media, the Minister said that the virus had hit home for his family commenting that:

"When Covid-19 comes home, it is not a far away thing. So one of my nephews succumbed to this virus this morning. It is a terrible thing. Young fellow. Please let us look after one another."
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Source: Briefly.co.za

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