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


Some Nations Could Wait Years for Covid Shots. That’s Bad for Everyone - 2021-03-23

While richer places, such as the U.S., hope to vaccinate most of their citizens within months, poorer countries, like Kenya, expect to reach just small fractions of their populations in that time.

Rare COVID reactions might hold key to variant-proof vaccines - 2021-03-19

Some people mount an immune response able to fend off a menagerie of coronavirus variants. Nature news covering four of our recent papers on the variant, neutralisation of plasma and Vaccines (Novavax and Astrazeneca)

What’s unique about the body’s response to the 501Y.V2 variant? Find out - 2021-03-12

New research from South Africa’s genomic surveillance network shows that people infected with the 501Y.V2 variant are also immune to other forms of the virus. The team found the protection against the 501Y.V2 variant could also extend to the original virus circulating the country and the variant first identified in Brazil.

We Now Can See a Virus Mutate Like Never Before - 2021-03-09

Tracking the coronavirus’s evolution, letter by letter, is revolutionizing pandemic science.In the beginning, there was one. The first genome for the virus causing a mysterious illness we had not yet named COVID-19 was shared by scientists on January 10, 2020. That single genome alerted the world to the danger of a novel coronavirus.

Antibodies from S Africa COVID variant may offer cross-protection - 2021-03-04

The 501Y.V2 variant reportedly produces a high number of antibodies, providing protection against infection by other variants. The findings in laboratory studies offer hope that COVID-19 vaccines based on the 501Y.V2 variant first identified late last year could protect against multiple variants circulating in different parts of the world

A Virus Variant by Any Other Name - Please - 2021-03-03

B.1.351 may sound sweet to a molecular epidemiologist, but what is the alternative, other than stigmatizing geographical names? News piece at NY Times highlighting our work with WHO on a new nomenclature system for COVID-19 variants

Covid variants: What are they and will vaccines work? - 2021-03-02

A variant of concern first identified in Brazil has now been found in the UK. Public health officials are investigating the six cases and are deploying more testing to see if it has spread to more people. Some variants, like this one, appear to be more contagious and there are concerns vaccines may not work quite so well against them.

Another coronavirus variant detected in SA, but no reason to panic - 2021-03-02

A new SARS-CoV-2 variant, which has dominated Covid-19 infections in Uganda and Rwanda, has been detected in South Africa. The announcement was made by Professor Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KRISP lab. However, de Oliveira told Health24 that is not a variant of concern, and that genome surveillance will monitor this and other variants

Coronavirus variants update: One has spread to over 90 countries, two on WHO watchlist - 2021-02-26

Scientists worldwide have been closely monitoring the emergence of coronavirus variants. Although there are a large number of variants, some of them have turned out to be more alarming. Professor Tulio de Oliveira provided an update on the spread of three of these, and said that two more have been placed on the WHO's watchlist.

South African scientists on pandemic’s frontline - 2021-02-15

South Africa’s pause of its rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in response to concern about a local coronavirus variant sparked global debate —and shone a spotlight on how the country’s science has become vital to understanding where the pandemic may go next.

All These Mutant Virus Strains Need New Code Names - 2021-02-08

As potentially more dangerous variants of Covid-19 spread, scientists are taking a crack at giving them clearer names that’ll help in the fight. Another very interesting piece of The Wired magazine one SARS-CoV-2 variants' names

Worrisome New Coronavirus Strains Are Emerging. Why Now? - 2021-01-27

Across the globe, SARS-CoV-2 is evolving ways to evade the immune system and become more infectious. Blown pandemic response plans are to blame. Really interesting but funny piece at The Wired magazine.

Fast-spreading COVID variant can elude immune responses - 2021-01-21

Evidence that a variant of the coronavirus identified in South Africa might compromise immunity sparks concerns about vaccine effectiveness.

Alarming COVID variants show vital role of genomic surveillance - 2021-01-17

Efforts to track SARS-CoV-2 sequences have helped identify worrying variants - but researchers are blind to emerging mutations in some regions.

Genome Detective Coronavirus variant typing tool - 2021-01-17

Phylogenetic identification of variants 501Y.V1, 501Y.V2, 501Y.V3 (B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1 / Nextstrain 20I, 20H, 20J). Tool also determines nucleotide (NT), amino acids (AA) and codon (CDS) mutations. The mutations list are provided in html and excel formats.

Answers to 9 crucial questions about the coronavirus variants spreading around the world - 2021-01-15

Experts worldwide are urgently studying three coronavirus variants to understand what risks they pose. One variant first identified in the UK, one in South Africa, and one in Japan are probably more contagious than the original strain. They have caused cases to surge and the three nations to lock down. Here are nine key questions about the variants, answered.

Will vaccines work against the new COVID variants? Scientists race to find out - 2021-01-15

One year later and the new coronavirus is still posing new questions for researchers. The recent emergence of new COVID-19 variants across the world has left scientists searching for answers once again as they try to understand what these changes mean for the pandemic - and vaccine roll-outs. As South Africa awaits the arrival of its first shipment of COVID vaccines there are growing concerns about a new coronavirus variant - known as 501Y.V2 - circulating in the country, and what the changes in the virus could mean for how well the jabs work.

As Coronavirus Mutates, the World Stumbles Again to Respond - 2021-01-15

A South African tip led to the discovery of mutations around the world. With infections skyrocketing, 'it's a race against time.'. Doctors and nurses at a South African hospital group noticed an odd spike in the number of Covid-19 patients in their wards in late October...

‘A bloody mess': Confusion reigns over naming of new COVID variants - 2021-01-15

As more lineages emerge, researchers are struggling with a patchwork of nomenclature.

Could new COVID variants undermine vaccines? Labs scramble to find out - 2021-01-14

Researchers race to determine why lineages identified in Britain and South Africa spread so quickly and whether they'll compromise vaccines.

Third concerning coronavirus variant should be a 'wake up call' to the world, experts warn - 2021-01-12

A variant identified in Japan in arrivals from Brazil shares 'concerning' characteristics with mutations detected in the UK and South Africa

WHO calls for new names for Covid variants to avoid country stigma - 2021-01-12

Countries that conduct a lot of genetic sequencing are more likely to find new strains, say experts

The New Covid-19 Strain in South Africa: What We Know - 2021-01-11

Researchers warn that the new variant may spread faster and could reduce the efficacy of vaccines

As the coronavirus mutates, the world stumbles to respond - Brief on NY Times live blog - 2021-01-09

The coronavirus has evolved as it has made its way across the world, as any virus is expected to do. But experts have been startled by the pace at which significant new variants have emerged.

South African Covid variant may affect vaccine efficacy, warn scientists - 2021-01-06

Mutation reduces ability of antibodies to bind to virus and could make some shots less effective.

South African variant unlikely to fully negate COVID vaccines, scientist says - 2021-01-06

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A variant of the coronavirus first detected in South Africa is unlikely to completely negate the immunising effects of vaccines, a researcher studying it told Reuters.

Boris Johnson Tightens U.K. Lockdown, Citing Fast-Spreading Version of Virus - 2021-01-04

The variant is up to 70 percent more transmissible than earlier versions, officials said. People in southeast England, including London, were told to stay at home.

Fast-spreading virus variants raise alarms - 2021-01-01

Scientists are scrambling to better understand effects of a series of worrisome mutations from in the U.K. and South Africa variants.

Pr Tulien de Oliveira: 'Si le virus continue à circuler librement, le risque qu'il s'adapte mieux augmente' - 2020-12-31

'Si nous permettons au virus de continuer à circuler librement, nous lui donnons une grande marge de manœuvre pour mieux s'adapter à la transmission chez l'homme', déclare Tulio de Oliveira, le Brésilien à l'origine de la découverte d'une nouvelle mutation "plus transmissible" du coronavirus qui suscite des inquiétudes dans le monde entier.

South Africa hits 1 million coronavirus cases as new variant spreads rapidly - 2020-12-27

President Cyril Ramaphosa expected to announce new restrictions in attempt to slow the surge

Coronavírus: brasileiro que descobriu mutação de covid-19 explica nova variante - 2020-12-24

Tulio de Oliveira, o brasileiro por trás da descoberta de uma nova mutação "mais transmissível" do coronavírus que vem causando preocupação ao redor do mundo, diz à BBC News Brasil que "se o vírus continuar circulando livremente, o risco dele se adaptar melhor aumenta".

Variants put spotlight on immunocompromised patients' role in the COVID-19 pandemic - 2020-12-23

In June, Ravindra Gupta, a virologist at the University of Cambridge, heard about a cancer patient who had come into a local hospital the month before with COVID-19 and was still shedding virus. The patient was being treated for a lymphoma that had relapsed and had been given rituximab, a drug that depletes antibody-producing B cells. That made it hard for him to shake the infection with SARS-CoV-2.

South African Covid-19 variant may be 'more effective at spreading - 2020-12-23

Research still to confirm threat posed but variant does not appear to provoke more serious symptoms

Got questions about the new Covid-19 variant in South Africa? Health department has lots of answers - 2020-12-19

The new variant of SARS-CoV-2 detected in SA has left scientists working round the clock to unravel its mysteries, the health department said on December 19 2020. The department of health issued a lengthy list of questions and answers on Saturday after announcing that the virus that causes Covid-19 has evolved into a new variant.

KRISP produces over 1000 HIV-1 genomes in record time - 2020-12-03

Durban, 3 December 2020. The KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), University of KwaZulu-Natal has produced over 1000 HIV-1 genomes in record time in South Africa, a significant scientific endeavor to understand how drug resistance has developed to a new and potent antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

How many people are catching Covid in hospital? - 2020-11-15

Prof Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson write at the Spectator about nosocomial infection in the U.K. In this article they mention our genomics and outbreak response (Lessells, Moosa & de Oliveira 2020) work on a large hospital outbreak in South Africa.

16 new lineages of SARS-CoV-2 emerge in South Africa despite lockdown - 2020-11-05

Published in a recent medRxiv* paper, researchers from South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Brazil found that these mutations in SARS-CoV-2 lineages are localized to South Africa. These unique strains, not found elsewhere in the world, are thought to have contributed around 42% to the country's total infection rate.

28th Weekly Press Briefing on the Coronavirus disease outbreak - Dr John Nkengasong & Prof. Tulio de Oliveira - 2020-09-17

WHAT: Weekly interaction with members of the media to share critical updates on steps taken to implement key aspects of the joint continental strategy for COVID-19 response; and to also highlight the coordinated efforts by African Union Member States to combat the pandemic in their respective countries.

How a team of scientists worked tirelessly to help the COVID-19 response in Africa - 2020-08-25

Ahead of the emergence of the SARS-CoV -2 outbreak in South Africa KRISP started preparing for it. KRISP really rose to the occasion in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. In the process, KRISP trained 1000s of health care workers, produced genomic protocols & capacitated dozens of laboratories in Africa to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

Accelerating genomics-based surveillance for COVID-19 response in Africa - 2020-08-25

The use of genomics to support the response to COVID-19 and containment of the virus in Africa is currently low. To address this suboptimal use of genomics, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Institute of Pathogen Genomics, in consultation with the Africa CDC led African Task Force for Coronavirus Preparedness and Response (AFTCOR) laboratory technical working group.

Excess deaths increase but we are ‘still in the dark' - 2020-07-23

There have been 17090 more deaths in the country than there were in previous years during the same period. But the official number of Covid-19 deaths is about 6000. There is a significant departure from the historical trends, even under these abnormal circumstances.

South Africa 59% excess deaths imply hidden Covid-19 toll - 2020-07-23

South Africa witnessed some 17000 extra deaths from natural causes or 59% more than would normally be expected between early May and mid-July, scientists said, suggesting many more people are dying of Covid-19 than shown in official figures.

South Africa joins 'Big 5' COVID-19 countries - 2020-07-18

South Africa has joined the United States, Brazil, India, and Russia as the countries with the most recorded COVID-19 cases. On Saturday, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced the country has 350,879 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Experts question ‘underreported' virus deaths in South Africa - 2020-07-18

The official number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in South Africa doesn't reflect the true scale of the crisis, with provinces that have been hit hardest by the outbreak showing a surge in fatalities, health experts say.

South Africa Data May Underreport Virus Deaths, Experts Say - 2020-07-18

The official number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in South Africa doesn't reflect the true scale of the crisis, with provinces that have been hit hardest by the outbreak showing a surge in fatalities, health experts say.

Initial COVID-19 Infections In CT Came From Europe, Researchers Find - 2020-07-17

CAPE TOWN - Genome sequencing, by colleagues at Stellenbosch University and the Network for Genomic Surveillance, was used to trace most of the very first COVID-19 cases reported in the Western Cape back to Europe.

Scientists found who may have triggered the coronavirus crisis in Cape Town - 2020-07-15

There were multiple — possibly hundreds — of introductions of the novel coronavirus virus to Cape Town from foreign travellers and return citizens, scientists found.

Webinar Series on COVID-19 Genomic Surveillance in Africa - 2020-07-14

The Africa Union and AfricaCDC, in partnership with SANBI, KRISP, H3AbioNet and the Africa Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases have started a weekly Webinar series to capacitate African researchers on the generation and analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomic data in Africa.

SA's first Covid-19 vaccine trial brings hope - 2020-07-12

Durban - The newly launched Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Consortium for Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial by the AU Commission is a glimmer of hope as the first vaccine trial gets under way in South Africa.

Early transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa - 2020-07-03

The Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) presents a molecular epidemiological study of the first twenty-one SARS-CoV-2 whole genomes sampled in the first port of entry, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), during the first month of the epidemic.

Snapshot of African SARS-CoV-2 Diversity - 2020-07-02

This report focuses on the first SARS-CoV-2 388 genomes from Africa. These genomes were accessed from GISAID and analysed against a backdrop of reference sequences. By comparing our viral genomes against others, we can infer how and when SARS-CoV-2 was introduced into Africa and how it has spread within the continent.

Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) - 2020-07-01

KRISP is a founding member of the Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa. A network of laboratories, scientists and academic institutions that have joined forces to ensure the public health responses to COVID-19 in South Africa have access to the best possible scientific data.

South Africa: How to get the best readings from thermometers - 2020-06-19

Experts weigh in on how to avoid inaccurate results during Covid-19 testing. Distance, hair and sweat can all affect the reading of the temperature scans you've been experiencing at work, shopping malls and schools.

5fm Catch Up: Dexamethasone (Professor Tulio de Oliveira, Dr Richard Lessells and Prof Yunus Moosa) - 2020-06-19

Nick Hammer chats to Prof Tulio De Oliveira, Dr. Richard Lessells and Prof Yunus Moosa about the trial on the UK of Dexamethasone for COVID-19.

SA accelerating towards virus peak without capacity, experts warn - 2020-06-18

With Covid-19 now growing by leaps and bounds in South Africa, a Mail & Guardian survey has spotlighted the nationwide shortage of staff, equipment and facilities needed to cope with the infected people who are set to flood the healthcare system when the outbreak hits its peak.

En Afrique du Sud, l'espoir ténu du BCG, « boosteur » du système immunitaire contre le Covid-19 - 2020-06-17

L'Afrique apporte sa pierre à la science (9). Cinq cents personnes du Cap, foyer de l'épidémie de coronavirus en Afrique du Sud, participent à une étude en double aveugle sur le vaccin contre la tuberculose.

Study tells ‘remarkable story' about COVID-19's deadly rampage through a South African hospital - 2020-06-10

On 9 March, a patient who had recently traveled to Europe and had symptoms of COVID-19 visited the emergency department of St. Augustine's, a private hospital in Durban, South Africa. Eight weeks later, 39 patients and 80 staff linked to the hospital had been infected, and 15 patients had died—fully half the death toll in KwaZulu-Natal province at that time.

En Afrique du Sud, des chercheurs remontent la piste du coronavirus - 2020-06-06

L'Afrique apporte sa pierre à la science (3). Dans une étude saluée par la revue « Science », le laboratoire Krisp établit avec une rare finesse la chaîne de contamination dans un hôpital de Durban.

South Africa: Protecting Healthcare Workers 'Not Rocket Science' - 2020-06-02

An investigation into the first major outbreak of Covid-19, at a Durban hospital, shows that staff members spread the virus, raising concerns about the safety of healthcare workers as infections rise.

Coronavirus in South Africa: Eight lessons for the rest of the continent - 2020-05-30

South Africa leads this continent in many ways. Right now, it is poised to lead Africa into the next, most dangerous phase of the pandemic, as the country braces itself for a dramatic rise in infections that will almost certainly overwhelm its relatively well-resourced healthcare system.

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.

Full report: How 135 people at St Augustine's Hospital in Durban got COVID-19 - 2020-05-29

The report outlines in detail how SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, spread through Netcare's 149-bed facility in Durban. This piece in Bhekisisa also contains simple take-away messages and recommendations on how to protect health care workers and hospitals from COVID-19. Download the full investigative report here.

Three ‘detectives', a virus and the patient who infected an entire hospital | Future Planet - 2020-05-27

Durban, South Africa, March 9. A man goes to the emergency room of the San Agustín hospital. He coughs, his head hurts. They admit him and share a stay with a woman who has had a heart attack. That man has just come from Europe, the lady lives in a nursing home.

Between two devils: Why hospitals must act fast to prevent health worker deaths - 2020-05-25

A new investigative report details the rapid spread of coronavirus disease in St Augustine's Hospital in Durban, and how it could have been prevented. The study, which Bhekisisa has seen, 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.

Lockdown has stopped SA's flu season in its tracks - it's now several weeks late - 2020-05-25

South Africa's lockdown seems to have stopped the winter influenza outbreak in its tracks. School closures and travel bans are likely to have prevented seasonal flu from taking hold. A mild flu season will help in the fight against Covid-19, but lifting lockdown could result in flu resurging.

Southern Africa: COVID-19 Roundup | Back to School - 2020-05-23

As schools get ready to reopen, models suggest the country will still not have enough ICU beds at the virus peak. In the meantime, court battles rage while unions fight to keep miners safe.

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.


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.


New concerns raised over South African variant of COVID-19
By: CBS News


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