banner home

General News

Opportunities at TWAS-SAREP

The World Academy of Sciences Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Partner (TWAS-SAREP) would like to invite you to nominate suit [ ... ]

Update on coronavirus pandemic

www.sacoronavirus.co.za.

Statements and reports published 


Report on ASSAf’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

ASSAf Statement on the Implications of Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19) in South Africa

Cameroon Statement

COVID-19 Update: Engagement with Minister, Deputy Minister, NICD & MECs

ASSAf Membership responses to COVID-19


How South Africa’s health system could take a hit from pandemic lawsuits, article co-authored by Prof Keymanthri Moodley - https://cutt.ly/ByIOxch   


This is an opportunity for our universities to regain credibility : By Professor Francis Petersen https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/opinion/columnists/2020-05-15-this-is-an-opportunity-for-our-universities-to-regain-credibility/


Professor Imraan Valodia : A new, fairer economy is possible, but that would mean sacrifice http://www.wits.ac.za/covid19/covid19-news/latest/a-new-fairer-economy-is-possible-but-that-would-mean-sacrifice.html


Professor Bavesh Kana and Dr Bhavna Gordhan have harvested live coronavirus for validating tests https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/great-feat-samrc-scientists-harvest-live-coronavirus-for-validation-of-test-kits-20200521


ASSAf Members, Profs Jacek Banasiak and Jean Lubuma are part of a team of UP mathematicians that has developed a website for communication of mathematical analysis of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 https://buff.ly/3cTBlYm


Prof Jonathan Jansen – opinion piece on schools reopening: https://buff.ly/3e8XbY0


#ListenToTheExperts Prof Helen Rees, Exec Director, Wits RHI tells us about the solidarity trial - https://buff.ly/2LPvZBq


https://buff.ly/3e81cMr - Glenda Gray interview on 702


https://buff.ly/2Xh25vg- Shabir Madhi interview on 702


ASSAf Member, Prof Qingguo Wang is part of the Institute of Intelligent Systems team at UJ that is developing an alternative solution to ensure compliance with social distancing, a 'pandemic drone' https://buff.ly/2AvJNP6


COVID19 'Deciding whose lives really matter in a pandemic' - a thought provoking commentary in the Mail & Guardian. Co-authored by ASSAf Member & 2019 Gold Medal recipient Prof Leslie Swartz, distinguished professor of psychology at Stellenbosch University https://buff.ly/2WxSEbo


South Africa’s COVID-19 strategy needs updating: here’s why and how – co-authored by Profs Imraan Valodia & Shabir Madhi https://buff.ly/2WsJa16


The Covid-19 crisis: Our winter of despair could become a spring of hope - column by Prof Saleem Badat  https://buff.ly/3645MIz


President Ramaphosa’s latest announcement on the lockdown is too little, too late. Profs Wim de Villiers & Eugene Cloete  https://buff.ly/2LszeyE


An interview with Prof Shabir Madhi @WitsUniversity on the #COVID19 pandemic, the futility of the current #lockdown, schoolchildren & many other burning issues https://buff.ly/361QrIr


Jean B. Nachega, Shaheen Mehtar and Wolfgang Preiser give an overview of Covid-19 across the continent, Africa Health journal, April 2020https://buff.ly/2y9DxM5


Co-authored by Prof Shabir Madhi – ‘Reopening: A shared responsibility of education departments & stakeholders’. The authors argue that the certainty that is required by learners, parents and communities — and the public in general — is the confidence that the education authorities and stakeholders, particularly teacher unions, have worked together to take all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of teachers, workers, and learners at schools. https://buff.ly/2Z4SPNb


Behavioural science and its potential to guide our response to Covid-19 - By Mark Tomlinson and Taryn Young - https://buff.ly/2y7z8cA


#lockdown Are both both men & women’s family roles being given “equal time” for the first time? Prof Jenny Hoobler, professor of Human Resource Management @UPTuks "Gender equality gets a boost from the new normal" https://buff.ly/2WlD9mP


Contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic: Protection of personal information in South Africa – a review co-authored by Prof Michael Pepper 


Prof. Shabir Madhi on MyHealthTV- Covid-19 and the re-opening of schools: Prof. Madhi talks us through the latest developments and information around Covid-19 (as of 8 May 2020) and how it will affect the re-opening of schools, school children and teachers. https://buff.ly/3cvresA


Prof Lise Korsten and Prof Lucky Mathebula - Discussing food sovereignty in a COVID-19 world: https://buff.ly/2Lnjhtr


Profs Stephanie Burton and Michael Pepper: Lockdowns and research: what we lost and what we stand to gain.  buff.ly/2T0Rbs8


Prof Shabir Madhi: 'It is time for the government to realise there is nothing more it can do. It is up to SA citizens to now take responsibility'. Covid-19 webinar discussion - Has South Africa taken the correct course of action in the fight against Covid-19? Have we made the most of lockdown? Should our schools now reopen? Are we testing enough and tracing properly? As we enter the third month of the National State of Disaster, how should we pivot our response? What should we be doing better or differently? https://buff.ly/35QzyQN


Co-authored by Prof Shabir Madhi: South Africa’s COVID-19 testing strategy needs urgent fixing: here’s how to do it. https://buff.ly/2WFLvoq


Webinar on: COVID-19 and Africa's Higher Education System: What is going on? Moderated by Prof Ahmed Bawa. One of the panellists is Prof Adam Habib, also an ASSAf Member - https://www.newssite.co.za/usaf/covid19.html


Review on public transport and risk of transmission –  http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/12943


What should public transport look like - https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/05/07/covid-19-what-should-public-transport-look-like/


Prof Keertan Dheda was invited to contribute to a special COVID-19 issue of the “Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine”.https://www.news.uct.ac.za/article/-2020-05-06-covid-19-considerations-controversies-and-challenges-in-south-africa  or  https://journals.co.za/content/journal/10520/EJC-1c8c918ca3?emailalert=true


Adam Habib: South Africa must deal with what haunts it when pandemic is over https://www.news24.com/Analysis/adam-habib-south-africa-must-deal-with-what-haunts-it-when-pandemic-is-over-20200507


Impact of school closures on education outcomes in South Africa, article by Crain Soudien -https://theconversation.com/impact-of-school-closures-on-education-outcomes-in-south-africa-136889?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20May%205%202020%20-%201613215468&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20May%205%202020%20-%201613215468+CID_8f477c13c65be04233d213d2d26db68d&utm_source=campaign_monitor_africa&utm_term=Impact%20of%20school%20closures%20on%20education%20outcomes%20in%20South%20Africa

 Prof Lynn Morris, Interim Executive Director: NICD participates in a webinar organised by Nigeria Health Watch – Innovation in the global fight against Covid-19


A Covid-19 related blog co-authored by ASSAf Council member, Prof Sabiha Essack titled: Global call to healthcare providers treating COVID-19 patients to implement diagnostic stewardship/microbial diagnostics and exercise prudence in prescribing antibiotics  https://buff.ly/2z2OD5A


Prof C Wiysonge published an article in Think Global Health, titled South Africa’s War on Covid-19 https://buff.ly/2AbiwBn He also co-authored this Lancet commentary, as part of the COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition: Global coalition to accelerate COVID-19 clinical research in resource-limited settings https://buff.ly/2X62yC3


Article by Prof S Kagee: https://buff.ly/2zi6GoG and https://buff.ly/3cig36d and 1 radio interview: https://buff.ly/2WcmXUW


Prof Irma Eloff: an interview on eNCA about 'Teaching children about Covid-19' https://buff.ly/2WePN7j

Prof Wolfgang Preiser: A paper in the World Complexity Science Academy Journal (WCSAJ) https://wcsajournal.com/ and an interview on Carte Blanche that was aired on 3 May: https://buff.ly/35HG24B


Commentary by Prof Alan Christoffels: SA’s first SARS-COV-2 genome sequence and analysis - REFLECTIONS https://buff.ly/2Wy3JYYwith


Webinar with Ann Bernstein, Executive Director of CDE on Covid-19: ‘Unlocking’ South Africa’s economy - different perspectives (Fri, 8 May). Register here to watch the recording on demand: https://buff.ly/2WsxD0H


Prof Calie Pistorius - launched an open access public e-journal, exploring the strategic impact as well as short and longer term risks, threats and opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic https://buff.ly/2SL7RDM


Prof Kgethi Phakeng is interviewed on ScienceBusiness on: COVID-19 is ushering in a new way to do research and teaching https://buff.ly/2Wdwknt


Prof Danny Bradlow: An article titled Vultures, doves and African debt: here’s a way out https://buff.ly/2SGXgtL


Prof Imraan Valodia: An article on What should South Africa’s coronavirus endgame look like? Here are some options https://buff.ly/2yAFm4N


An article co-authored by Profs Bob Scholes and Guy Midgley: The science to policy process that was developed to guide climate mitigation decisions can be applied to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, without having to be reinvented: Choices in a fog of uncertainty: lessons for coronavirus from climate change https://buff.ly/3dEIxaP


Prof Keyan Tomaselli: Involved in an entertainment education project – A digital comic story for children and their parents on the lockdown. The animated version is here: https://youtu.be/Tbcc_lmpiXI


You can't swap a teacher for homeschooling - Prof Jonathan Jansen


Scrap school year and pass all learners – Professor Jonathan Jansen


Can the philosophy of ubuntu help provide a way to face health crises? Prof Lenore Manderson https://buff.ly/2WbqlOG


COVID-19 shows that where there is political will there is a way to work across sectors, article co-authored by Prof Sharon Fonn - https://cutt.ly/ByggOeW


Sheer volume of misinformation risks diverting focus from fighting coronavirus, article by Profs Michael Pepper and Stephanie Burton - https://cutt.ly/CyggLw1


Limiting the spread of COVID-19 in Africa: one size mitigation strategies do not fit all countries - The Lancet Global Health
Profs Wolfgang Preiser & Jen Nachega


Prof Charles Feldman in the Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine at Wits interrogates the aggravating issue of South Africa’s additional burdens of HIV and tuberculosis and the risk of COVID-19 infection in HIV-positive patients.http://www.wits.ac.za/covid19/covid19-news/latest/wits-publishes-first-clinical-data-on-covid-19-in-south-africa.html


‘Fake news’ and COVID19 How have we performed? - ASSAf Member Prof Herman Wasserman assesses the media, government & public’s performance on reporting & sharing the facts on COVID19. Prof Wasserman is professor of Media Studies & Director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies University of Cape Town Access the full article https://buff.ly/2xUMGbe


Isolation and quarantine in South Africa during COVID-19: Draconian measures or proportional response?


Critical care triaging in the shadow of COVID-19: Ethics considerations


Diagnosis of COVID-19 : considerations, controversies and challenges in South Africa, Wits Journal of Clinical Medicine https://journals.co.za/content/journal/10520/EJC-1c8c918ca3 


Global Health in the Covid-19 Era: Tackling the Real Issues https://scienceforpeace.ca/global-health-in-the-covid-19-era-tackling-the-real-issues/


#Coronavirus risks forcing SA to make health trade-offs it can ill afford, article co-authored by Prof Karen Hofman - "if routine immunisation is not classified as an essential service there will likely be severe consequences". https://buff.ly/3bnEmiL


Lockdowns threaten children’s nutrition: why extra care is needed, article co-authored by Prof Julian May - the nutritional shocks on young children whose families have lost their income as a result of the #lockdown may have long lasting effects. https://buff.ly/3bqFnqq


What post-lockdown strategy should SA follow to contain the #COVID19 outbreak? ASSAf Members Imraan Valodia & Shabir Madhi amongst academics who argue for prioritising of mass testing & contact tracing for best chance of saving SA's health & economy. https://buff.ly/3bnKaZD


“The South African Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” - From a data perspective (Speaker: Prof Salim Abdool Karim 

This morning UKZN’s Big Data and Informatics team hosted a Q&A webinar with Prof Karim where he answered questions based on his presentation on eNCA on Monday, 13 April.

Today’s UKZN webinar – 65 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ8UqNdK4Es&utm_source=data%40breakfast&utm_campaign=cb35a1847c-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_11_29_10_41_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_14ab216204-cb35a1847c-363416698  

Summarised version of Prof Karim’s eNCA presentation on 13 April – 10 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7QJ5cHSREM

Complete version of his eNCA presentation on 13 April – 58 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ8qb7eGS8c  

Data@Breakfast is an initiative of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Big Data and Informatics Research Flagship. 


Why Sisyphus comes to mind in my daily struggles against coronavirus  


Will South Africa run out of food during the coronavirus lockdown? Will South Africa run out of food during the coronavirus lockdown?  


HSRC investigates impact of COVID-19 on health workers


HSRC, university investigating impact of Covid-19 on health workers


‘Flocking’: UP academic’s research forms basis of psychosocial support organisation’s drive to provide hope during COVID-19


Summary of briefing by Prof Salim Abdool Kariem: https://buff.ly/2XCjPCX


Lockdowns threaten childrens’ nutrition: why extra care is needed


Covid-19 could be with us potentially for years


ASSAf Member, Prof Salim Abdool Karim in a webinar with Daily Maverick, discusses South Africa's response to the Covid-19 pandemic - https://youtu.be/2klRy9nAHG4 


“Public health isn’t just about dealing with the crisis in front of us now. We have to be thinking about the future,” said Prof Alan Christoffels, chair in bioinformatics and human health genomes at the South African Research Chairs Initiative.https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2020-04-07-local-scientists-claim-breakthrough-that-could-help-find-covid-19-vaccine/


Article by Prof Danny Bradlow


Article by ASSAf member, Prof Brenda Wingfield


Professors Sehaam Khan and Saurabh Sinha recently penned an opinion article published in the Daily Maverick on 6 April 2020. https://www.uj.ac.za/newandevents/Pages/Covid-19-Droplets-and-Aerosol-Transmission-How-do-we-protect-others-and-ourselves-.aspx  or https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-04-06-covid-19-droplets-and-aerosol-transmission-how-do-we-protect-others-and-ourselves/


Tough choices about who gets ICU access (Keymanthri Moodley): https://buff.ly/2yDOvJy


Professor Helen Rees was invited on SABC’s #TheAgenda to discuss the basics around the #coronavirus outbreak on 5th April 2020. https://youtu.be/zHIF0OjFYLU


Professor Shabir Madhi delivered a presentation on tackling COVID-19 to the Wits University Council on Friday, 3 April 2020. http://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/general-news/2020/2020-04/test-test-test-says-wits-academic.html


COVID-19 101: Q&A with Prof Ed Rybicki - https://www.news.uct.ac.za/article/-2020-04-06-covid-19-101-qa-with-prof-ed-rybicki


Covid-19: Bold programmes are needed to mitigate the economic crisis, Prof Imraan Valodia - https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-03-23-the-risks-of-economic-inaction-on-covid-19-are-significantly-high/


Yes, washing our hands really can help curb the spread of coronavirus, Prof Karen Hofman-http://www.wits.ac.za/news/latest-news/opinion/2020/2020-03/yes-washing-our-hands-really-can-help-curb-the-spread-of-coronavirus.html


No evidence to suggest pregnant women are more prone to contracting COVID-19, interview with Prof Shabir Madhi - https://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/no-evidence-to-suggest-pregnant-women-are-more-prone-to-contracting-covid-19/ 


Whither Covid-19? An interview with SA’s chief virus hunter, Prof Lynn Morris - https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-03-12-whither-covid-19-will-south-africa-emerge-bruised-or-with-a-raging-epidemic/


ASSAf Member, Prof Helen Rees is one of 2 Wits researchers who are coordinating the enrolment of Covid-19 positive patients at 14 hospitals countrywide in an international clinical trial launched by the World Health Organisation which will compare the safety and effectiveness of four different drugs or drug combinations against Covid-19. The trial will begin in the next two weeks. Read more: https://buff.ly/3dMLaYS


ASSAf Member, Prof Murray Leibbrandt, co-authored the article below titled South Africa can – and should – top up child support grants to avoid a humanitarian crisis. Prof Leibbrant is Pro-Vice Chancellor, Poverty and Inequality; NRF Chair in Poverty and Inequality Research; and Director of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.https://buff.ly/34245dR


ASSAf Member & Pro Vice-Chancellor for Big Data and Informatics at UKZN, Prof Francesco Petruccione, hosts a monthly data@breakfast seminar series. He decided to go online with the series and use it to share information on COVID-19.On the first day of the lockdown, some 200 particpants tuned in to listen to a highly topical and clear presentation by UKZN COVID-19 ‘war room’ member, Dr Richard Lessells. Lessells’s talk tackled the issue of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and provided both a local and global perspective. Read more & watch the video recording of Prof Lessell’s talk here: https://bit.ly/2Ju7oRm


ASSAf Member, Prof Wolfgang Preiser, Head of the Division of Medical Virology Stellenbosch University & NHLS Tygerberg & his clinical colleagues have had 2 letters on #COVID-19 accepted by The South African Medical Journal, SAMJ. The letters relate to socialdistancing & optimising the influenza vaccination to reduce the risk of a ‘double hit’.  

Covid 19 - SciELO

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Statements published by the South African Young Academy of Sciences

The South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) translated the general health messaging around the virus into the local languages from English. These are in Sepedi, Tshivenda, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sesotho, Northern Sesotho, siSwati and Xitsonga and a few more for dominant migrant groupings in SA - Shona, Swahili, Portuguese, Lingala and French. These have been disseminated mainly online through SAYAS social media platforms -Twitter and Facebook feeds and by SAYAS members. Access these at: www.sayas.org.za 


In their own personal capacities, various SAYAS members have written informative articles on the impact of the virus:
Prof Alex Broadbent (University of Johannesburg) explores why a one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 could have lethal consequences - https://bit.ly/39imJig
A/Prof Willie Chinyamurindi (University of Fort Hare) writes on Five ways academics can manage COVID-19 shutdowns - https://bit.ly/3bnH0EB


The Global Young Academy (GYA) released a global message from young scientists on COVID-19. It delivers specific recommendations for governments, the public, and young researchers Access: https://globalyoungacademy.net/gya-covid-19-statement/

TWAS

Statement on COVID-19 – https://twas.org/sites/default/files/covid-19_statement_twas.pdf 

 

Statements by other stakeholders

Find the link to the survey on COVID-19: https://www.pa.org.za/blog/covid-19-survey?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=request-for-comment-from-department&utm_source=transactional


STATEMENT ON COVID-19 IN AFRICA


Science Diplomacy Covid Presentation


https://owsdsanewsletter.home.blog/2020/04/01/owsd-sa-nc-members-and-covid-19/


COVID-19: to test or not to test, article by Dr Doyin Odubanjo, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) - https://theconversation.com/africa/covid-19


The biggest threats to Nigeria managing COVID-19: panic, politics and indecision, article by Dr Doyin Odubanjo Executive Secretary, Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS)- https://theconversation.com/the-biggest-threats-to-nigeria-managing-covid-19-panic-politics-and-indecision-134756


OWSD-SA member and Stellenbosch University researcher, Caroline Pule joins CrowdFight Covid-19 initiative - https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/stellenbosch-university-researcher-joins-crowdfight-covid-19-initiative-46016903


CSIR (entity of DSI), has been commissioned by the DoH to set up a COVID-19 data platform/warehouse to monitor the current geographic spread of the disease, current cases, health vulnerabilities, and location of health and other facilities, among others.


https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-blade-nzimande-unesco-virtual-ministerial-dialogue-coronavirus-covid-19-and-open


The Conversation - Why do we feel so driven to help each other


Department of Health - Corona Training Slides


IAP Covid_Communique


WHO https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019


WellcomeTrust https://wellcome.ac.uk/press-release/sharing-research-data-and-findings-relevant-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak


https://wellcome.ac.uk/press-release/publishers-make-coronavirus-covid-19-content-freely-available-and-reusable
https://www.thesouthafrican.com/technology/cord-19-database-artificial-intelligence-fight-coronavirus/

Visualisations

https://www.covidvisualizer.com/
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
https://coronavirus.datafree.co/

Other

Five ways academics can manage COVID-19 shutdowns- https://theconversation.com/five-ways-academics-can-manage-covid-19-shutdowns-133947

 In the fight against coronavirus, antivirals are as important as a vaccine. Here’s where the science is up to-

https://theconversation.com/in-the-fight-against-coronavirus-antivirals-are-as-important-as-a-vaccine-heres-where-the-science-is-up-to-133926

New smaller coronavirus testing kits 'could deliver quicker results

https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/new-smaller-coronavirus-testing-kits-could-deliver-quicker-results-20200325

Senegal: 10-minute coronavirus test may be on its way - for $1- https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/senegal-10-minute-coronavirus-test-1-200327053901231.html

Mobilising resources against the COVID-19 pandemic - https://www.samrc.ac.za/media-release/mobilising-resources-against-covid-19-pandemic

Coronavirus: first person injected with trial vaccine - https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/newsfeed/2020/03/coronavirus-person-injected-trial-vaccine-200323100153030.html

South Africans stuck in Peru lockdown told to ‘hang in there’ - https://mg.co.za/article/2020-03-31-south-africans-stuck-in-peru-lockdown-told-to-hang-in-there/

UP MakerSpace Centre producing 3D visor frames for facial shields for healthcare workers - https://www.up.ac.za/news/post_2884720-up-makerspace-centre-producing-3d-visor-frames-for-facial-shields-for-healthcare-workers

Four major international data organizations join forces to optimize the research data ecosystem, launching a COVID-19 appeal as their first joint action - https://council.science/current/news/four-major-international-data-organizations-join-forces-to-optimize-the-research-data-ecosystem-launching-a-covid-19-appeal-as-their-first-joint-action/

Government sets up a COVID-19 situational analysis system - https://www.dst.gov.za/index.php/media-room/latest-news/3038-government-sets-up-a-covid-19-situational-analysis-system

Chinese Enterprises and Communities in South Africa Donates Cash and Kind to Firmly Support South Africa Fighting Against the COVID-19 - http://za.china-embassy.org/eng/sgxw/t1759444.htm

Trial drug can significantly block early stages of COVID-19 in engineered human tissues - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200402144526.htm