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Relocation Africa’s Ghanaian Immigration Interview: November 2020

Our Immigration Lead, Lynn Mackenzie, recently had the pleasure of speaking to Paa, our Ghanaian immigration partner, about Ghana’s current immigration landscape.

To listen to Lynn and Paa’s conversation about immigration in the current context, click here to view the recording, or view it below.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Paa for his insights. We hope you enjoy the recording.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

 

South African Pharmaceutical Company Aspen Agrees to Make Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine in South Africa, if it’s Approved

Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. agreed to make the Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed by Johnson & Johnson at a factory in South Africa, a move that could help with distribution on a continent with otherwise limited manufacturing capacity.

Africa’s biggest drug maker has the capacity to produce 300 million doses a year at the plant in Port Elizabeth if the shot is approved, the company said in a statement on Monday. J&J’s experimental inoculation against the virus that’s swept the world this year is still in clinical trials, after a brief pause last month after a patient became sick.

The race to develop and gain regulatory approval for a Covid-19 vaccine is seen as a critical step toward controlling the pandemic, which has killed more than 1.2 million people around the world and shows little sign of dissipating. Yet there’s concern poorer nations will be left without due to the huge demand from richer countries from the U.S. to China.

“Johnson & Johnson’s public commitment has been really strong in terms of assisting developing countries,” said Aspen Chief Executive Officer Stephen Saad, who is self-isolating at home after two family members tested positive for Covid-19. “It’s good to get that manufacturing in South Africa.”

Aspen shares jumped as much as 8.1%, the biggest intraday gain in almost two months, and traded 6.7% higher at 112.64 rand as of 11:42 a.m. in Johannesburg.

South Africa had been looking to sign a deal to help produce a vaccine earlier in the year, when The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a global organization funding vaccine development, said it was considering state-owned Biovac Institute as a fill-finish site. South Africa is also a host country for clinical trials of various vaccines.

“The fact that we are involved in all these trials is really positive about our ability to manage,” Saad said. “We’ve got good clinical expertise. I think a lot of it is built up around some of the communicable diseases we’ve had such as HIV/AIDS.”

J&J’s vaccine candidate would be made and packaged at a plant in which Aspen has invested about 3 billion rand ($184 million). The South African company relocated the production of drugs for late-stage cancer, Parkinson’s disease and some auto-immune illnesses to the southern coastal city of Port Elizabeth from Europe in 2018.

The deal remains subject to discussions around technology-transfer activities and commercial-manufacturing terms, Aspen said.

The move marks the second time the pharma group has found a way to generate business from the coronavirus. The company also makes the generic anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone, which was found to be an effective treatment for Covid-19 earlier in the year.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Relocation Africa’s South African Immigration Interview

Our Immigration Lead, Lynn Mackenzie, recently had the pleasure of speaking to Tracy, our South African immigration partner, about South Africa’s current immigration landscape.

To listen to Lynn and Tracy’s conversation about immigration in the current context, click here to view the recording, or view it below.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Tracy for her insights. We hope you enjoy the recording.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

 

Risk of Second Wave of COVID-19 in South Africa as Cases Rise

South Africa faces a high risk of resurging coronavirus infections that may lead to a review by the council deciding on lockdowns after new cases rose by 42% in Western Cape province in the last two weeks, the health minister said recently.

Zweli Mkhize said in a statement that the increase in infections and deaths “will inform the recommendations that the Health Department makes to the National Coronavirus Council”, the body that determines the different levels of lockdown restrictions.

“According to our resurgence plan, we define this significant spike in new cases in the Western Cape as a resurgence,” said Mkhize, adding that nationally infections in the last two weeks had risen 10.7%, which was also a “concerning trend”.

Mkhize said the cause of the spike in the Western Cape was a “super-spreader event” at a bar in southern Cape Town. The popular tourist city was originally the epicenter of South Africa’s first wave of infections.

Africa’s most advanced economy, which also has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the continent at more than 700,000 infections, eased lockdown restrictions to their lowest level in September as the rate of new cases fell.

It also opened its borders to international travelers at the beginning of October after a six-month ban, in what was one of the world’s strictest lockdowns that included restrictions on movement, economic activities and the sale of alcohol and tobacco.

The lockdown cost the country more than 2 million jobs in the second quarter, while the economy shrunk by its most on record.

To track worldwide cases via the Bing COVID map, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

New Lock-down Change for South African Schools

Basic Education minister Angie Motshekga has published a new gazette which will allow for the resumption of some sports at South African schools.

The directive states that the following activities are permitted to resume, subject to social distancing, hygiene and safety measures and without spectators:

  • Non-contact sport training;
  • Inter-school non-contact sport matches;
  • Non-contact sport-related activities;
  • Arts and culture school-based activities in schools.

The number of persons in the sporting venues, change rooms or training area, at any given time, must not be more than 50% of the capacity of the venue with persons observing the social distancing requirements.

In addition, schools that compete in inter-school format must adhere to the limitation of:

  • 250 persons or fewer, in the case of an indoor activity; and
  • 500 or fewer, in the case of an outdoor activity;
  • Provided that no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue is used with persons observing the social distancing requirements.

Other regulations include the wearing of face masks expect when playing, the provision of hand sanitisers and the keeping of a register for all participants.

Social distancing rules in classrooms

The resumption of sports comes after Motshekga said that her department will make further changes to the country’s schools as it continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

Motshekga told the SABC that key among these changes will be a review of the social distancing rules in classrooms.

The minister indicated that the current ‘rotation system’, where students alternate days at school, meant that too much learning time was being lost.

Instead, her department is looking at other measures, such as body screens, to get more children into classrooms safely.

“We are looking also at other measures. Other big schools for instance are using body screens not distancing because physical distancing is very expensive for us because it means we have to cut classes in half,” she said.

Motshekga said that schools had to cut out some parts of the curriculum because of the reduced contact time.

To make up for the teaching time lost to the coronavirus lockdown, the department has already trimmed the curriculum nationally. Parts of the 2020 curriculum will be carried over into 2021.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].