Inside Covid-19: Foods that blunt virus’s sting; SA hero Prof Guy Richards; Kodak’s surge; Russian vaccine. Ep 70

In Episode 70 of Inside Covid-19, some smart advice from Discovery’s chief dietician who explains what to eat to blunt the coronavirus sting; a South African healthcare hero, Wits Professor Guy Richards, shares his own Covid-19 infection journey and explains why his team applied dexamethasone well before the lifesaving drug became popular; Eskom pension fund declares a R100m bonus to help its 33,000 members overcome the financial strain of the pandemic; the inside story behind Kodak’s crazy share price surge after the White House throws $765m at the old photography icon to get it to pivot into making chemicals to help fight the pandemic; and support grows for the unusual protest action by the owner of a safari company based near the Kruger National Park. – Alec Hogg

In today’s Covid-19 headlines:

  • Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology has registered the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine. It accelerated the trial time by employing military testing and accelerated clinical evaluations to shorten the trial time. Russia hopes to use the vaccine in a massive immunisation programme and to sell it globally under the brand name Sputnik V, the world first satellite which it launched into orbit, beating the US. Russian president Vladimir Putin said he hopes the vaccine would soon be released, adding one of his daughters had already received it. Russia has registered the fourth most coronavirus infections, at 900 000, with deaths breaking above 15 000 yesterday.
  • South Africa’s new infection curve continues to decline with a modest 3,739 new cases reported on Sunday down to a quarter of those registered at the peak on July 24. Active cases are also on the decline, with Sunday’s figure of just under 136,000 down 20% from the peak. Mortalities are also falling with Sunday’s 213 around half the recent high and well down on the record 572 reported on July 22nd. Total South African deaths are now at just over 10,600, suggesting that the official projections on which the government based its policies were exaggerated. The modellers started with a forecast of over 350,000 South African deaths. Their most recent public update was 40,000, which still looks like being more than double the likely result.
  • At least eight doctors in Gauteng have succumbed to Covid-19, which angry health care workers have blamed on shortages of good quality personal protective equipment. They are among the 181 health workers who have died from the virus, according to figures revealed by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. The vulnerability of health care workers during the pandemic has been highlighted when Professor Emeritus in Critical Care at the University of the Witwatersrand, Prof Guy Richards, announced he is among those who are infected. Prof Richards is regarded as a hero in the medical community for the life saving Covid-19 treatment regime that he and other Wits doctors applied long before it became popular elsewhere.