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Today with Kieno Kammies
09:00 - 12:00

Exactly a year ago, Wuhan in China locked down – and the world changed, forever

22 January 2021 10:46 AM

On 23 January, the world looked on in disbelief, and much horror – still oblivious to what lies ahead – as Wuhan locked down.

RELATED: 10 countries that lead the world in vaccinating their people against Covid-19


Exactly a year ago (23 January 2020), the world – still ignorant of what lies ahead – looked on as the first Covid-19 lockdown came into force in Wuhan in China, possibly the birthplace SARS-CoV-2.

One year on, and life appears to be almost back to normal in Wuhan. © zhoushihua/123rf.com

At the time, many observers were stunned at the severity of restrictions and unyielding enforcement thereof.

More than 11 million people were compelled by law to quarantine at home.

“Only in China”, many believed, yet months later most of the world would follow suit.

Though it’s guidelines made no mention of lockdowns, the World Health Organisation (WHO) commended the swift reaction, calling it "unprecedented in public health history".

At great cost, Wuhan remained locked down until June – but it worked.

China remains one of the world’s few Covid-19 success stories.

The nation of 1.4 billion souls has to date recorded 88 701 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 4635 deaths.

Watch a preview of the raw and intimate “76 Days”, a critically acclaimed MTV documentary set in Wuhan during the earliest days of the pandemic.

It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was praised for capturing the struggle and resilience of people trying to survive amid the frightening uncertainty of that time.




22 January 2021 10:46 AM

More from Covid-19 coronavirus explained

'The Aussies are arrogant; it’s our turn! Host Lions in S Africa, or postpone'

18 February 2021 2:00 PM

Australia wants to host South Africa and the British Lions. "We must put pressure on them to postpone," pleads Wynand Claassen.

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Scotland threatens to close its 'border' with England

17 February 2021 10:24 AM

It is wrong for Scotland to try and impose its laws, said one UK MP, calling Scottish threats "ridiculous" and "bearing no logic".

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South Africa starts largest vaccination campaign in its entire history

17 February 2021 9:02 AM

"Tygerberg Hospital gets 7400 vaccines and Groote Schuur gets 5760. Chris Hani Baragwanath gets just over 11 000," says Mia Malan.

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Coffee production costs are spiking - supply chains are holding up

16 February 2021 2:32 PM

Migrant workers struggling to get to farms is causing a spike in production costs, says Robert Coles (Rosetta Roastery).

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UCT trials next-gen Covid-19 vaccine to beat all current and future variants

16 February 2021 11:43 AM

The vaccine is developed by ImmunityBio, headed by South African billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong (aka "world's richest doctor").

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South Africa is about to start vaccinating against Covid-19 after initial hiccup

12 February 2021 2:46 PM

Africa’s Covid-19 epicentre is about to start rolling out vaccines proven to be effective against the 501.V2 variant.

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Germany – worried about virus variants - extends hard lockdown to 7 March

12 February 2021 10:53 AM

The EU-powerhouse has been in hard lockdown since before Christmas. Kieno Kammies interviews Deutsche Welle’s Janelle Dumalaon.

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German army brings hope – and doctors and ventilators - to crumbling Portugal

4 February 2021 10:22 AM

Hospitals across Portugal are all but collapsing, but in a "vivid sign of European solidarity", the German army is flying in hope.

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Doctors in SA may now prescribe Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 – High Court

3 February 2021 1:18 PM

"It should only be used in severe cases," says virologist Burtram Fielding, "Safety data is available; there are side-effects."

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Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine is safe and 92% effective – The Lancet

3 February 2021 10:28 AM

"A lot of people, us included, were sceptical," says Adam Gilchrist. "The Lancet is the number one medical journal in the world.”

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