KRISP and UKZN Foundation campaign to support South African Scientists on the front line

KRISP COVID-19 NEWS

The South African COVID-19 Pregnancy Outcomes Study - 2020-05-29

The South African Obstetric Surveillance System Consortium in partnership with the SA MRC Maternal and Infant Health Strategies Unit and KRISP/UKZN invites clinicians from South African obstetric institutions to participate in this national study.


Report into a nosocomial outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Netcare St. Augustine’s Hospital - 2020-05-22

This report presents the findings and recommendations of an investigation into a nosocomial outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at St. Augustine’s Hospital in Durban, South Africa. The investigation began on 4 April after the identification of a number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and three deaths at the hospital. Investigation methods included medical record reviews, ward visits, and interviews with health care workers and management. A detailed timeline of patient cases was constructed to generate hypotheses as to the spread of infection through the hospital. In addition, DNA sequencing of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleic acid extracted from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab samples was performed and phylogenetic analysis was conducted.


PRESS RELEASE: Findings and recommendations of the investigation into the Covid-19 outbreak at Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital led by UKZN team - 2020-05-20

The investigation found that between 9 March and 30 April 2020, there were 119 confirmed cases identified at St. Augustine’s Hospital (39 patients and 80 staff). Fifteen of the 39 patients died (case fatality rate 38.5%). The most plausible explanation for the outbreak is that there was a single introduction of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)


How one COVID-19 case at St Augustine’s Hospital led to 135 infections within 51 days – report - 2020-05-20

The coronavirus spread rapidly through Netcare St. Augustine’s Hospital and beyond and made up 14% of KwaZulu-Natal’s infections by the end of April. The study, seen by Bhekisisa, was conducted by researchers at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s (UKZN) Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine and the KwaZulu?Natal Research Innovation & Sequencing Platform, Krisp.


University probe finds over 100 Covid-19 cases at St Augustine's Hospital - 2020-05-20

An investigation has found there were 119 confirmed cases of coronavirus at Durban's St Augustine's Hospital by the end of last month. The probe into the Covid-19 outbreak at the hospital was led by a team at University of KwaZuu-Natal.


Netcare welcomes findings into Covid-19 outbreak at St Augustine's Hospital - 2020-05-20

Durban - The Netcare group has welcomed the findings of a report which investigated the outbreak of Covid-19 at the St Augustine's Hospital. On Wednesday, the investigative report was released and showed that between March 9 and April 30, there were 119 people – among them 39 patients and 80 staff members – who had confirmed cases identified at the hospital. Fifteen of the 39 patients died.


How one Covid-19 case at St Augustine’s Hospital led to 135 infections within 51 days - 2020-05-20

The outbreak of coronavirus disease at the Netcare St. Augustine’s Hospital in Durban, that led to the infection of at least 135 patients and staff in the hospital complex and people in a nursing home, was caused by a single patient admitted to the facility’s emergency department early in March, a new report has found. The virus spread so fast in the hospital that infections caused by the outbreak in the hospital constituted almost 14% of Covid-19 cases in KwaZulu-Natal by the end of April.


More than 100 infections and 15 patient deaths in Covid-19 outbreak at St Augustine's Hospital - 2020-05-20

The Covid-19 outbreak at St Augustine's Hospital in Durban which forced health authorities to close it down, resulted in 119 people testing positive and 15 patient deaths.


Investigation into Covid-19 outbreak at Durban hospital reveals virus spread through patient to patient transfer - 2020-05-20

Durban - An investigation into the Covid-19 outbreak at Durban's St. Augustine's Hospital has found the cluster outbreak was as a result of patient to patient transfer after both were admitted to the hospital around the same time.


University probe finds over 100 COVID-19 cases at St Augustine's Hospital - 2020-05-20

An investigation has found there were 119 confirmed cases of coronavirus identified at Durban's St Augustine's Hospital by the end of last month. The probe into the COVID-19 outbreak at the hospital was led by a team at UKZN.


Investigation report reveals single source of infection caused St Augustine virus outbreak - 2020-05-20

A newly released investigation report revealed there were a total of 15 patient deaths and 119 confirmed Coronavirus cases at the Netcare St Augustine Hospital.


14% OF KZN COVID-19 CASES CAN BE TRACED TO ST AUGUSTINE’S HOSPITAL - REPORT - 2020-05-20

The report by a University of KwaZulu-Natal-led research team was made public on Wednesday following an investigation at the facility. A new report shows that 14% of all COVID-19 cases in KwaZulu-Natal can be traced to the coronavirus outbreak at Netcare’s St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban


Cape Town Becomes Center of South Africa’s Virus Pandemic - 2020-05-16

Clusters of infections contribute to surge in the Western Cape. Contrary to projections, Gauteng has seen slow rise in numbers. By Pauline Bax and Prinesha Naidoo, Bloomberg.


‘Small fires’ drive rise in Covid cases - 2020-05-16

As President Cyril Ramaphosa eases restrictions on one of the most stringent lockdowns in the world, the number of Covid-19 daily infections has continued to rise. Up to 700 people a day tested positive this week.


Can you get Covid-19 from pets or poultry? East Coast Radio Breakfast Show with Darren Maule - 2020-05-15

Professor Tulio de Oliveira is the director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) at UKZN. He joins us for another Covid-19 information session.


Nick Hammer, 5FM, chats to the director at KZN Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), UKZN, about how the government's interventions - 2020-05-15

Nick Hammer chats to Prof Tulio De Oliveira about how the government's interventions, including the travel ban and lockdown, potentially averted the death of at least 20 000 people.


SAfm Sunrise, 15 May Professor Tulio de Oliveira argues that the value of lockdown cannot be underestimated - 2020-05-15

Since Lockdown began on the evening of 26 March 2020, South Africa is yet to see the flattening of the Curve. Professor Tulio de Oliveira has argued that the value of lockdown cannot be underestimated.


A Lockdown may Have Averted 20,000 Deaths, Says Bio-Information Expert - 2020-05-14

As the nation debates about whether lockdown restrictions must be eased, Professor Tulio de Oliveira argues that its value cannot be underestimated.


The Western Cape now accounts for more than half of South Africa’s coronavirus cases - 2020-05-14

The coronavirus outbreak in South Africa has hit hardest in the Western Cape, home to the city of Cape Town.


Researcher explains how early SA lockdown has saved at least 20,000 lives - 2020-05-14

Comparative trajectory analysis from the day of 100th infection shows SA on 11,000 cases, while UK at that point on 161,000


Lockdown and other interventions potentially saved 20 000 lives - 2020-05-13

Government interventions, including the travel ban and lockdown, have potentially averted at least 20 000 deaths, says a top scientist


UKZN's Professor Tulio de Oliveira talks Covid-19 to East Coast Radio Breakfast Show - 2020-05-06

UKZN's Professor Tulio de Oliveira is a bioinformatician from the KwaZulu-Natal’s Research, Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) faculty - and he spoke to us this morning.


KRISP has produced most of the COVID-19 viral genomes in South Africa & created a Big Data Analysis team at UKZN - 2020-05-05

KwaZulu Natal’s Research, Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) and the Big Data Flagship Program of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has a multi-disciplinary team of world-renowned experts which mainly focuses on analysis and control of viral outbreaks and genomic analysis.


KRISP Newsletter Apr/May 2020: Highlight our work on the current COVID-19 pandemic. - 2020-05-05

In our April/May issue of 2020, We have worked very hard to produce and analyse COVID-19 data in real time. We have also sequenced many SARS-CoV-2 genomes in South Africa that showed how the virus was introduced in the country. We also worked with the media to help to translate scientific results to the general public. KRISP believes that open and independent scientific information is represented by good journalism that determines its value to the society it serves.


SA's confirmed Covid-19 cases rise to 5 951, with 13 deaths on Day 1 of level 4 lockdown - 2020-05-02

Cape Town - Confirmed Covid-19 infections in South Africa have risen to 5 951, with 13 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Friday. This is an increase of 304 confirmed cases on Thursday's figures.


Covid-19: Infections could rise by 10% per day after lockdown lifts – top scientists - 2020-05-01

The Covid-19 infection rate could jump from 5% to 10% per day as South Africa emerges from a five-week hard lockdown from Friday. Scientists are expecting a "rapid rise" in infections ahead of the disease hitting its peak in summer.


Coronavirus: 27 patients on ventilators as SA edges towards the end of 'hard' lockdown - 2020-04-28

As South Africa edges towards the end of the so-called hard lockdown, and with an expected spike in Covid-19 cases around the corner, just 27 Covid-19 patients are on ventilator support in hospital, seemingly in line with government's projections. Sarah Evans from News24 highlights our Big Data COVID-19 analysis of in South Africa.


Human trials for vaccine begins - 2020-04-25

Many deaths are still likely to hapen because of the coronavirus, but a promising vaccine against Covid-19, developed by the University of Oxford, started human trials this week. UKZN scientists warn many deaths still likely before virus is conquered


The Pros and Cons of high-speed science - 2020-04-24

Scientific research on Covid-19 has been published at an unprecedented scale and speed, but some fear that this is at the cost of scientific rigour. Adele Baleta explores the pros and cons of high-speed science. By Adele Baleta for Spotlight, Daily Maverick and News24, 24 April 2020


Data science sees gold rush to create COVID-19 breakthroughs - 2020-04-23

The use of data science has become a critical 'gold rush' as research scientists across the globe partner on scientific breakthroughs, to better understand the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and recommend strategies to help address its complexities


SA scientists on breaking the Covid-19 code - 2020-04-21

Durban - A team of world renowned scientists based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has launched a fundraising campaign to support the analysis of Covid-19 data - which could provide vital research and insight on the spread of the virus across both South Africa and globally as the world battles to contain the devastating pandemic.


KwaZulu-Natal researchers seeking to research Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa - 2020-04-20

Scientists at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) have launched a fundraising campaign to finance independent research into the Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa. Donors will qualify for Section 18A tax certificates, issued by the UKZN Foundation.


Scientists launch fundraising campaign to support analysis of COVID-19 data in real time - 2020-04-20

They have produced five of the six COVID-19 viral genomes in the country, which clearly showed how the virus was introduced into South Africa. KwaZulu Natal’s Research, Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) and the Big Data Flagship Programme of UKZN collaborate in a fund raising campaign.


Support South Africa’s COVID-19 Scientists on the Frontline - 2020-04-19

The countries which have had some of the best responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore and South Korea, have closely followed scientific advice. Our government has already used our results to show that South Africa is flattening the curve. We need your support to ensure that we can keep producing high-level scientific information to guide our national response.


Big Data, Bioinformatics & Artificial Intelligence to fight COVID-19 epidemic in South Africa - 2020-04-18

KRISP has partnered with the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Big Data Analysis at UKZN, Prof. Francesco Petruccione to put together a team with more than 20 researchers, including computer scientists, mathematicians, statisticians, bioinformaticians, infectious diseases clinicians, theoretical physicists and quantum computing scientists to analyze the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa.


Big Data presentations on COVID-19 by Profs. Salim Abdool Karim, Tulio de Oliveira, Richard Lessells and Francesco Petruccione - 2020-04-17

Watch the full videos of the Big Data, Genomics and Clinical Medicine presentations of COVID-19 by experts. Full videos of Prof. Salim Abdool Karim, Prof. Tulio de Oliveira and Dr. Richard Lessells in April 2020. Data@breakfast organised by Prof. Francesco Petruccione of UKZN Big Data Flagship program.


SA government plans for Covid-19 to peak in September but questions about data remain - 2020-04-12

The extended five-week national lockdown has postponed South Africa's worst-case Covid-19 scenario to September, a government projection shows. March was arguably the busiest month for President Cyril Ramaphosa in his tenure as head of state. Every other day, the President is putting out fires.


Covid-19 will change us in many ways, says UKZN war room specialist - 2020-04-11

A UKZN seminar series has been moved online in the face of the COVID-19 epidemic. IT was a logical step for UKZN Pro Vice-Chancellor for Big Data and Informatics, Professor Francesco Petruccione, to turn to the online world to continue with his monthly data@breakfast seminar series in a time of national Covid-19 lockdown.


There is no magic bullet: the town that turned the tide against HIV. Lessons learned in Eshowe are being used against coronavirus. - 2020-04-06

Lessons learned in Eshowe, South Africa, one of the areas worst hit by the HIV pandemic, are being used against coronavirus. Jason Burke in Eshowe writes to The Guardian about KRISP and UKZN work.


Masks - to wear or not to wear - 2020-04-04

Durban - Conflicting information and misinformation about whether to wear a mask or not during the Covid-19 pandemic has left many people confused.The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended people not wear a mask unless they are sick with Covid-19 or caring for someone who has the virus.


Public warned about 'rapid' coronavirus test kits - 2020-04-03

Durban - ONLY polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are being used to test for the coronavirus in South Africa, which can detect infection before patients become symptomatic, and not rapid serological tests, which are not recommended by experts for public use.


Odd drop in how Covid-19 numbers grow - 2020-04-02

Speaking to the media on Wednesday night, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said, We will only fight coronavirus with facts and evidence-based strategies, not fake news. Mail and Guardian news, 2 April, 2020.


Single mom makes living sewing face masks amid Covid-19 mask shortage - 2020-04-02

A young single mother has started her own business making masks, which she distributes in rural areas. Currently there's a huge debate on the subject of a face mask's efficiency, with the World Health Organisation saying there is no evidence to suggest it curbs the spread. However, some experts believe it does indeed work, as studies into other coronaviruses proved masks can reduce the risk.


Four reasons to be hopeful about South Africa’s coronavirus testing plan - 2020-04-01

South Africa stands at a crossroads in the fight against the new coronavirus — and winning the battle will hinge on the decisions we make now about how quickly and how broadly we begin to test for the virus. In a grim news cycle, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s announcement yesterday that the country is evaluating rapid tests for the new coronavirus is something to celebrate. Bhekisisa opinion piece by Dr. Richard Lessells and Prof. Mosa Moshabela.


Testing to be ramped up and new tests in pipeline for COVID-19 - 2020-03-31

South Africa's strategy to defeat Covid-19 is to lock down the country and scale-up testing to quickly identify people who may have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Health journalism by Adele Baleta for Spotlight 31 March 2020.


African countries unprepared to respond to coronavirus outbreak - 2020-03-31

Durban - An infectious disease specialist says that although the world is much more prepared to deal with a pandemic than in previous years, African countries are still unable able to respond adequately to a respiratory virus like Covid-19.


Am Kap geht es erst los - 2020-03-27

Südafrika hat die meisten Corona-Fälle in Afrika. Auch wenn die Zahlen denen in Europa noch hinterherhängen, warnen Experten vor einer rasanten Ausbreitung des Virus. Von Julia Jaki, Kapstadt, 27. März 2020


What you need to know about Covid-19 to protect yourself - 2020-03-24

There is much we do not understand about the virus and how it will affect our bodies, especially after Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize said that 60% to 70 % of people could be infected by Covid-19. The Mail & Guardian asked different experts — including disease specialist Dr Richard Lessells, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) — for information about this coronavirus.


Big Data update for COVID-19 in Africa: Epidemiology & Genomics - 2020-03-20

Together with the Big Data group of UKZN, we started a daily update of the data on COVID-19 in South Africa and a weekly update on cases, deaths and genomic data in Africa. All of the scripts for generation of the data is deposited open in repositories as all any data developed by our team.


M&G’s latest Covid-19 projections - 2020-03-19

Three thousand people have died in Italy as a result of Covid-19, with more than 35000 infected. Three weeks ago, the country passed the 150 mark for infected people. It took three weeks to get to that number. In South Africa, we passed the 150 mark on Thursday, two weeks after the first local positive test. Mail and Guardian, 19 March 2020.


KRISP is Helping the Response to Coronavirus in Africa. See our activities and please support us... - 2020-03-17

The University of KwaZulu Natal’s Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) boasts state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and scientific expertise and capacity not commonly found in Africa. This places our multidisciplinary team in the ideal position of being able to play a critical role in supporting the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has placed all current research activities and services on hold to focus full-time on helping with this outbreak. Please help to fund it by donating to our activities here.


Coronavirus testing: How it works, what it costs and when you need a test - 2020-03-11

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases can run hundreds of tests at the same time but ultimately the number of tests South Africa will be able to carry out for the new coronavirus depends on the machines, people and testing supplies available.


KRISP work to produce a bioinformatics software for coronavirus COVID-19 rapid identification and characterization - 2020-03-04

We developed an rapid bioinformatics tool for the identification and characterization of novel coronavirus genomes. The tool was released in January 2020 and published in Bioinformatics in February 2020 as an open access tool to help to characterise genomes of COVID-19 viruses.


KRISP Newsletter Feb 2020: Publication of a Genome Detective software for rapid identification of coronavirus genomes. Award from UKZN VC - 2020-03-03

In our February/March issue of 2020, we highlight our work on the current coronavirus outbreak. We published a software application for rapid identification and characterization of novel coronavirus genomes. Our quick response was lauded by the national and international media. In this issue, we also cover the award from UKZN vice-chancellor to Dr. Veron Ramsuran, launched a CRISPR-Cas9 laboratory and organized talks, exhibitions and training workshops.


KRISP scientists quick action lauded by Nature - 2020-02-25

KRISP was in the front and second page of Saturday Independent newspaper, including an article on how a reporter from nature has followed our hard work to produce and release the Genome Detective Coronavirus Tool in January 2020.


Coronavirus- Durban man shares eerie encounter - 2020-02-22

As news of the deadly Coronavirus spreads across the globe, a Durban man, teaching English in Hangzhou, describes the eerie streets of a city on lockdown and researchers at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) prepare for the potential of a Coronavirus outbreak in Durban.


Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Outbreak: Genomics & Epidemiology - 2020-02-14

KRISP Talks by Prof. Tulio de Oliveira (KRISP UKZN & CAPRISA), Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Outbreak: Genomics & Epidemiology. This page summaries resources for coronavirus COVID-19 in KZN and South Africa and internationally. It also present our work on the creation of a genomics and bioinformatics pipeline for fast and accurate analysis of coronavirus genomes. KRISP is bases at K-RITH building, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN, Durban, South Africa.


KRISP COVID-19 TV COVERAGE


COVID-19 Pandemic | "Coronavirus outbreak at St Augustine Hospital originated from a single source"
By: Richard Lessells

KRISP TWITTER COVERAGE






KRISP has been created by the coordinated effort of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the South African Medical Research Countil (SAMRC).


Location: K-RITH Tower Building
Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, UKZN
719 Umbilo Road, Durban, South Africa.
Director: Prof. Tulio de Oliveira