Covid-19 wrap: Government to name Covid-19 patients who fail to toe the line

24 March 2020 - 11:19 By TimesLIVE
A worker wearing a protective suit disinfects a globe-shape in a public garden on March 23 2020, following the outbreak of the coronavirus in Algiers, Algeria.
A worker wearing a protective suit disinfects a globe-shape in a public garden on March 23 2020, following the outbreak of the coronavirus in Algiers, Algeria.
Image: REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Government will name Covid-19 patients who fail to toe the line

In order to minimise the spread of Covid-19, the government will be forced to name a person who has contracted the disease in order to reach others who have been in contact with that person.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said for the government to minimise the spread, it must be able to identify the contacts of all people who have tested positive for Covid-19.


More airlines cancel domestic flights during Covid-19 lockdown

SAA and FlySafair have joined Comair in announcing the cancellation of domestic flights for the duration of the national Covid-19 lockdown.

The cancellations will take effect when the lockdown kicks in on Thursday at midnight.

In a statement, FlySafair said it made the decision "in solidarity by putting South Africa’s health and public interest first".


Italian coronavirus deaths jump by 743 in a day

Fatalities in Italy from coronavirus have surged in the last 24 hours, the Civil Protection Agency said on Tuesday, dashing hopes the epidemic in the world's worst hit country was easing after more encouraging numbers in the previous two days.

The death toll rose by 743 on Tuesday, the second highest daily tally since the outbreak emerged in northern regions on Feb. 21, and up steeply from the 602 recorded on Monday.

-Reuters


All restaurants and delivery services to close during lockdown

It's official: not only are all restaurants, bars and coffee shops forced to close during South Africa’s 21-day lockdown from Friday, but they may not do home deliveries or takeaways.

Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kuyabi-Ngubane announced on Tuesday that all forms of restaurants were included in the 21-day total lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night.


All passengers have disembarked from MSC Orchestra: Samsa

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) said on Tuesday that all 2,408 passengers who were on the MSC Orchestra cruise ship have disembarked at the Durban port.

"The disembarkation process followed strict protocols as issued by the South African Department of Health. The passengers were disembarked in batches of 100 and each passenger went through a screening test," the authority said in a statement.


Lindiwe Sisulu says water tank producers must stop selling to private individuals

Things are set to change in the water tank business if the government goes ahead with its plan to buy up all available “JoJo” [water] tanks to help fight the coronavirus.

This was announced by water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu during a media briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday.



FAQs about Covid-19 and lockdown

Here are 10 questions about life under the impending lockdown, such as testing for the coronavirus, drinking alcohol, and wearing a mask.


An inter-ministerial press briefing was held in Pretoria to address key points around the #SAlockdown on March 24 2020. Ministers from the economic cluster addressed key points around the Covid-19 pandemic and #SALockdown.


Breaking Covid-19 rules in Zimbabwe can get you a year in jail

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa has enacted a law that allows the arrest of people who defy his Covid-19 lockdown measures, but the public seems unfazed.

Under statutory instrument (SI) 77 of 2020, those who are found in crowds of more than 50 people will be arrested and jailed for up to a year. The figure was reduced from 100 after Zimbabwe registered its first Covid-19 death, which lead to the president issuing a state of the nation address on Monday night.


LISTEN | 'The 21 days are going to be really hard': delivery motorcyclists on lockdown


Bloem church that hosted infected guests says they were screened on arrival in SA

The Divine Restoration Church in Bloemfontein on Tuesday urged congregants who attended a prayer breakfast with international visitors to urgently get tested after confirmation that some guests had tested positive for Covid-19.

The Free State on Tuesday recorded 18 positive infections, with the bulk of cases from the church.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said the church had hosted a four-day event this month attended by about 300 people. This included seven visitors from abroad, five of whom had since tested positive for the virus.


President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on March 23 2020 that the country will be going into lockdown for 21 days over the Covid-19 pandemic. South Africans in Cape Town weighed in on Covid-19 and the upcoming national lockdown, which starts on March 27.


Soldiers on the streets will help enforce lockdown and 'instil sense of security'

Having soldiers on streets during the national lockdown is necessary to help enforce regulations imposed to limit the spread of coronavirus.

He said the military would be deployed to patrol  South African streets during the lockdown and would be a visible presence at hospitals.

SA National Defence Union (Sandu) general secretary Pikkie Greef said it was necessary for the military to be visible on the streets to enforce the rules.



Eleven firms investigated for hiking prices during pandemic

Eleven firms are under investigation for hiking their prices as the demand for products used to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 increases.

“We have had complaints about individuals and firms increasing prices unjustifiably. The consumer and competition commissions met and are now investigating 11 firms found to be selling products like face masks and hand sanitisers for high prices and abusing the situation,” trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel said on Tuesday.


An inter-ministerial press briefing was held in Pretoria to address key points around the #SAlockdown on March 24 2020. Ministers from the economic cluster addressed key points around the Covid-19 pandemic and #SALockdown.



Government allocates R1.2bn to ensure food production

Minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development Thoko Didiza on Tuesday announced a R1.2bn financial package to mitigate the threat Covid-19 poses to food production.

“The department has set aside a package of R1.2bn to address the effects of coronavirus and ensure sustainable food production after the pandemic. The department will soon make the details of this package, with the application channels, available. The department has also availed R100m to the Land Bank to help farmers in distress,” Didiza said.

The minister said exports and imports of critical agricultural commodities would continue unhindered, even during the 21-day lockdown.


Netball SA president Cecilia Molokwane tests positive for Covid-19

Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane has tested positive for Covid-19 after travelling abroad on 2023 World Cup business.

“Molokwane had travelled to the United Kingdom for meetings with the International Netball Federation where she serves as a board member in March‚” NSA said.

Molokwane was quoted in the NSA statement saying she had found out she had tested positive on Tuesday morning.

A man wearing a face mask displays a sign for takeaway services at an eatery on March 24 2020 after New South Wales began shutting down non-essential businesses and moving toward harsh penalties to enforce self-isolation as the spread of the coronavirus reached a "critical stage" in Sydney, Australia.
A man wearing a face mask displays a sign for takeaway services at an eatery on March 24 2020 after New South Wales began shutting down non-essential businesses and moving toward harsh penalties to enforce self-isolation as the spread of the coronavirus reached a "critical stage" in Sydney, Australia.
Image: REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Durban's Suncoast Casino temporarily shuts up shop ahead of 21-day lockdown

Suncoast Casino in Durban has temporarily closed its gaming floors.

Last week, the casino announced it had limited the number of patrons on its floors to 100, after government's declaration of a state of disaster.


Political figures do their bit to tackle Covid-19 before lockdown

Wash, avoid, cover, stay at home cadres, use hand sanitiser, perhaps even carry a baby on your back while in isolation.

These are the messages being shared by some of the country's current and former political leaders as the nation counts down the days to the coronavirus lockdown.


LISTEN | 'My world stopped for a second': Ndaba Mandela speaks about Covid-19 diagnosis

Ndaba Mandela was at home in Johannesburg with friends when he received a call that shook him to the core: he had tested positive for Covid-19.

The following day, Mandela went to get tested because he had returned from the US, which is officially listed as a high-risk country.


This is who is exempt from national lockdown - and what will be closed

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown on Monday night. This step will see millions of South Africans restricted to their homes and many services being unavailable.

But some people and businesses will be exempt, including:

  • health workers in the public and private sectors;
  • emergency personnel;
  • those in security services - such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers - and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic;
  • those involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods;
  • essential banking services;
  • the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services;
  • laboratory services; and
  • those in the provision of medical and hygiene products.

All shops and businesses will be closed, except for:

 

  • pharmacies;
  • laboratories;
  • banks;
  • essential financial and payment services, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange;
  • supermarkets;
  • petrol stations; and
  • healthcare providers.

Comair to send staff home, suspend all flights during lockdown

As the number of people infected with Covid-19 continues to rise, Comair has announced it will suspend its British Airways and kulula.com flights from Thursday.

“We will resume with our scheduled flights on Sunday April 19 2020. Comair will try to  accommodate customers wanting to travel over the next two days, subject to availability and fare differences. We will not operate any flights on Thursday March 26,” the airline's  CEO Wrenelle Stander on Tuesday.


Covid-19 is the odd reason everyone's Googling Disney's 'Tangled' right now

Did Disney predict the coronavirus in their 2010 film Tangled?

That's what some social media conspiracy theorists are saying after noticing similarities between the movie — which is based on the classic fairytale Rapunzel — and the current pandemic.


'Delete all traces of those Mabena comments': Mzansi responds to SANDF on streets

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night announced a national lockdown for 21 days. He said the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) had been deployed to “support the SA Police Service in ensuring that the measures we are announcing are implemented.”

Images of military staff around the country went viral ahead of Ramaphosa's speech.

As the military becomes a common sight to many, Twitter has been filled with anecdotes and advice for South Africans.



SA's Covid-19 cases rise to 554

The number of Covid-19 cases has risen to 554, health minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Tuesday.

Mkhize announced the department had recorded 152 new Covid-19 cases.



If Covid-19 cancels your wedding, you should get a full refund

We should be heading into South Africa’s second biggest wedding season, but for many of the thousands of engaged couples who’ve been forced to cancel their big day, the traditional vows are already being put to the test.

The cost of a cancelled wedding - especially very shortly before those “I do’s” are said - is catastrophic for the couple and their guests, as well as all the wedding vendors.

Legally, given the ban on public gatherings or more than 100 - which is very likely to drop to far less, very soon - consumers have a right to full refunds of what they’ve paid.



Even indoors and at home, self-isolating is hard work

Social distancing and self-isolation became de rigeur after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a national state of disaster this week. But many are having a tough time of it.

Tiffany Gore, 30, a hotel guest relations manager, travelled to London on holiday earlier this month and has had to isolate herself after coming home from a high-risk area.

“It has been quite a challenge because I still live at home and my father is high-risk because he has prostate cancer and has recently gone for treatment,” she said.


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