COVID-19 WRAP | Day 4: 'Virus tests are coming to your home'

30 March 2020 - 08:17
By TimesLIVE
SANDF soldiers patrol the streets of Galeshewe in Kimberley, Northern Cape.
Image: Masi Losi SANDF soldiers patrol the streets of Galeshewe in Kimberley, Northern Cape.

30 March 2020 - 9:40pm

Covid-19 tests are coming to your door: Ramaphosa

Soon, tests for Covid-19 - the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus - will be done at homes across the country.

Field workers will do the visits to do screenings, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday.

"In the coming days, government will be rolling out a screening, testing, tracing and medical management programme on a huge scale," said Ramaphosa as the addressed the nation on Monday evening.

30 March 2020 - 8:45

Moody's downgrade will not stop fight against coronavirus: Ramaphosa

Moody's downgrade of the country's investment status to junk will not dampen the government's attempt to fight the Covid-19 outbreak.

This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who was addressing the nation on Monday night.

Ramaphosa said the country would "prevail" despite the downgrade, because of the public-private partnerships already demonstrated in the fight against the virus.

30 March 2020 - 7:45pm

Death toll rises to three

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has risen to 1,326 - and three people are confirmed to have died from the respiratory illness.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night revealed the new statistics.

"In the last few days, three South Africans have died from this disease. There are now 1,326 confirmed [Covid-19] cases in South Africa," he said.

30 March 2020 - 7:30pm

Woman dies in social grant payout queue

Two people have died in incidents linked to social grant collections on Monday.

One person died in Hammersdale, KwaZulu-Natal, while waiting in a queue to receive their social grant. The other died in Pimville, Johannesburg, while in a taxi en route to a pay point.


30 March 2020 - 6:40pm

Ramaphosa to address the nation on Covid-19

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on Monday evening about government's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Presidency said Ramaphosa had a meeting with the National Command Council on Sunday  "which assessed the efficacy of the national lockdown which came into effect on Thursday 26 March 2020."

March 30 2020 - 18:06

Father arrested for forcefully taking son from mother during lockdown

A man has been arrested for allegedly abducting his 14-year-old son – and for ignoring rules prohibiting movement during the national lockdown.

The boy was allegedly forcefully abducted by his biological father at his mother's house in Pretoria on Sunday.

March 30 2020 - 18:00

R5,000 fine for breaking lockdown rules, says Gauteng chief magistrate

South Africans who break national lockdown laws will be liable for fines of up to R5,000.

And that's just the “admission of guilt” fine for the first offence. For repeat offenders, no admission of guilt fines will be allowed.

This is according to chief magistrate Yoliswa Sidlova, acting cluster head of the Gauteng region 5A. Her determination, signed on March 30, was confirmed by Nathi Mncube, spokesperson for the office of the chief justice.

March 30 2020 - 17:52

March 30 2020 - 17:50

Alexandra confirms first Covid-19 case, five in isolation

Gauteng's Alexandra township has recorded its first case of Covid-19, the provincial health department said on Monday.

The person who tested positive was traced and found in Limpopo.

March 30 2020 - 17:14

Free State officials still tracking 286 people after church outbreak

Coronavirus track and trace teams in Bloemfontein are still on the hunt for 286 people who may have been in contact with infected churchgoers.

The Free State health department, marshalling hundreds of Red Cross volunteers and guided by epidemiologists, is racing against time to hem in the pandemic — with three churches becoming central to its spread.

March 30 2020 - 17:09

March 30 2020 - 17:07

What happens if you are arrested during lockdown?

Everyone arrested during the coronavirus outbreak in SA will be screened for Covid-19 before they are placed in a police holding cell.

Police have confirmed that those who test positive will be taken to a medical facility and be quarantined until they are clear of any symptoms.

March 30 2020 - 16:58

Lionel Messi confirms 70% pay cut for Barcelona players, criticises board

Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona’s players will take a 70% pay cut and make financial contributions to ensure the club’s other employees are paid in full during the state of alarm in Spain.

In a lengthy message posted on his Instagram account, Messi also took another swipe at the Barca board, led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, whom he accused of undermining the players during recent negotiations. 

March 30 2020 - 16:16

Defence minister slams soldiers for punishing civilians during lockdown

The defence department has condemned the use of violence on civilians by soldiers deployed to enforce Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said a message was sent by President Cyril Ramaphosa warning the soldiers that they should not use excessive force against citizens, regardless of the level of provocation they may face.

March 30 2020 - 16:02

Netcare's in-hospital pharmacies closed to public

In-hospital pharmacies will no longer be operating at Netcare facilities in an effort to reduce risks of Covid-19 transmission.

“This measure will serve to reduce the traffic in our hospitals, and will assist in reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission to health care workers and those in our care. Critical in-hospital pharmacy services will be prioritised during this pandemic period,” said Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s hospital division.

Du Plessis said all pharmaceutical services to those in hospital would continue as normal. 

March 30 2020 - 15:56

March 30 2020 - 15:46

Abortion clinics stay open during lockdown

Even though Covid-19 has added further challenges to an already strained health system, women may still terminate unwanted pregnancies during the lockdown, says experts.

Marie Stopes, a clinic that provides sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortions, said on Monday that it remained open during the lockdown.

March 30 2020 - 15:31

PODCAST | Amabookabooka: The Quarantine Chronicles - Imraan Coovadia

March 30 2020 - 15:27

More must be done to cushion blow of Covid-19, experts urge Ramaphosa

Economists and business analysts have written an open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet, calling for decisive action to protect workers and business, as well as the poor, from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Signed by 75 experts and commentators, it states that economic interventions so far have been subject to delay, confusion and incoherence. 

March 30 2020 - 15:22

Lockdown is legal, Constitutional Court says as it dismisses NGO's case

The Constitutional Court has dismissed a civil society body's application to have President Cyril Ramaphosa's lockdown declared unconstitutional.

The little-known Hola Bon Renaissance Foundation urgently approached the court on Thursday last week – on the eve of the lockdown – asking it to declare the 21-day lockdown unconstitutional.

March 30 2020 - 15:19

March 30 2020 - 15:18

Taxis charge double to make up for loss of passengers during lockdown

Some taxi drivers in the East London CBD have set themselves on a collision course with the government as they demand double the normal fare from desperate passengers amid the Covid-19 lockdown.

The practice of doubling taxi fares started on Friday, on the first day of the lockdown, after the national transport department told drivers they had to load half the number of passengers they usually carry, DispatchLIVE reports.

March 30 2020 - 15:06

Zimbabweans enter lockdown amid severe economic crisis

Zimbabwe began a 21-day nationwide lockdown on Monday, following SA in implementing some of the world’s toughest anti-coronavirus measures likely to hurt an economy already suffering hyperinflation and food shortages.

But unlike in SA, where many citizens defied calls to stay indoors with some clashing with security forces at the weekend, Zimbabweans mostly stayed home. The country has recorded just seven cases and one death.

March 30 2020 - 14:58

Orlando residents angry at 'dumping' of homeless people in community

Residents in Orlando were left infuriated after a group of homeless people  were “dumped” there without adequate food and security.

More than 200 homeless people were moved to the YMCA in Orlando East on Friday night after the start of the national lockdown imposed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

March 30 2020 - 14:43

10 useful tips from the experts to stay sane under lockdown

Being confined takes a toll, but mental health specialists have tips on how to make the best of lockdown.

March 30 2020 - 14:40

Police officer faces murder charge after fatal lockdown enforcement shooting

An Ekurhuleni metro police department (EMPD) officer and a second man have been arrested in connection with a deadly shooting incident during a lockdown enforcement operation in Vosloorus on Sunday.

Acting Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said EMPD officers were patrolling the area on Sunday when they noticed people drinking alcohol at a tavern.

Seisa said officers were enforcing the Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

March 30 2020 - 14:38

March 30 2020 - 14:30

March 30 2020 - 14:16

Limpopo records first Covid-19 recovery

The first person to test positive for Covid-19 in Limpopo has been cleared of the coronavirus and is ready to be integrated back into society after spending time in quarantine.

This is according to health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba, who applauded the 28-year-old doctor who contracted the virus after his return from Europe, and immediately self-isolated after testing positive.   

March 30 2020 - 14:10

FNB's three-month payment holiday, R100m for Covid-19 pandemic relief

FNB on Monday announced relief for its customers whose incomes have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic - no installment payments on personal loans, home loans and car loans for April, May and June, with those amounts to be paid off over time with a “preferential” interest rate and no added fees.

March 30 2020 - 13:46

EFF calls for more protective equipment for health-care workers

The EFF has called on the government to increase the manufacturing of personal protective equipment and clothing for health workers so as to meet the rising demand.

The red berets warned that the shortage of personal protective equipment and clothing was one of the most urgent and pressing challenges to fight and defeat the Covid-19 pandemic in SA.

March 30 2020 - 13:34

Lockdown in Diepsloot — elderly queue for social grants, cigarettes for sale

An elderly woman sitting in a queue at the Diepsloot post office, waiting for her social grant payment, said on Monday she wished she could properly sanitise her hands, even at home.

In the queue, only a handful of people wore masks. Others walked around, their faces unprotected. Some used scarves and cloth to cover their mouths and noses.

Meanwhile, with a ban being enforced on the sale of cigarettes, TimesLIVE visited three spaza shops to see if the banned items were being sold.

At the first shop, only loose cigarettes were on sale. The second spaza shop owner said he did not have any. At the third, customers were able to purchase packs of 20.

March 30 2020 - 13:31

March 30 2020 - 13:26

Man United star helps feed children during coronavirus lockdown

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is working to get food to children who rely on free school meals after the coronavirus shutdown.

The 22-year-old England international has teamed up with charity FareShare to help children in the Manchester area after schools were closed.

March 30 2020 - 13:18

Businessman who locked workers in factory to make masks, granted R20k bail

A 53-year-old Chinese national has been granted R20,000 bail in the Durban magistrate's court in connection with charges related to contravening the Disaster Management Act.

The man was arrested by a multidisciplinary team on Sunday for allegedly locking up 14 employees for several days and forcing them to produce masks in response to the demand created by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

March 30 2020 - 13:10

DA calls for investigation into 'gross violations' by soldiers policing lockdown

The DA is calling on military ombudsman Gen Vusi Masondo to investigate alleged gross violations of the military mandate and bill of rights by members of the defence force.

DA MP Kobus Marais condemned videos being circulated on social media purportedly showing soldiers forcing civilians, who allegedly failed to abide by lockdown regulations, to do squats and push-ups.

March 30 2020 - 13:04

March 30 2020 - 12:56

Experts' plea to divorced parents: don't spread lockdown tension to your children

For many divorced parents, the fallout from last week’s announcement that children cannot move between houses under the 21-day lockdown is a source of anxiety.

However, experts say now is not the time to let your tension and stress rub off on your children.

March 30 2020 - 12:45

Surfers arrested in Jeffreys Bay for breaking lockdown rules

Two surfers were arrested at the weekend for contravening the Disaster Management Act, national police said on Monday.

Police spokesman Brig Vish Naidoo said the men were arrested in Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape at 2pm on Sunday. 

March 30 2020 - 12:31

More than 1,000 arrests in one day for contravening lockdown laws

More than 1,000 people were arrested in SA on one day for not complying with regulations relating to the national lockdown.

March 30 2020 - 12:14

'Contagion' movie stars Kate Winslet, Matt Damon and Laurence Fishburne on Covid-19

The 2011 film Contagion has surged in popularity since the spread of the pandemic. Last week it was No 10 on the iTunes movie charts in the US.

The movie is about a lethal airborne virus that spreads within days. 

The stars of the movie, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon and Laurence Fishburne, teamed up with scientists and health experts to give you advice on how you can help flatten the curve and stop spreading Covid-19.

March 30 2020 - 12:13

March 30 2020 - 12:12

'Chinese lockdown kept our citizens safe from virus in Wuhan': Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa believes the lockdown by Chinese authorities was the reason South African citizens returned home from Wuhan not infected with Covid-19.

Ramaphosa was referring to those who were airlifted from China and kept in quarantine at The Ranch resort in Polokwane for 14 days.

They have since been released after testing negative for Covid-19 despite spending time in Wuhan, regarded as the epicentre of the virus in China.

March 30 2020 - 12:10

WATCH | ‘Go inside your house!’ - Bheki Cele patrols Khayelitsha

March 30 2020 - 12:06

Jilted boyfriend arrested for fake WhatsApp message claiming ex has Covid-19

A Durban man was expected to appear in court on Monday in connection with a fake message in which he claimed his ex-girlfriend and her brother were infected with coronvirus.

The message claimed the woman and her brother were refusing treatment and were a danger to society. 

March 30 2020 - 12:04

Queen Mary 2 still awaiting clearance to enter Durban after doctor does Covid-19 swab tests

The Queen Mary 2 luxury cruise liner was still awaiting clearance to dock at Durban's port on Monday morning.

On Friday, a ShipMed doctor boarded the vessel to carry out Covid-19 tests on board.

March 30 2020 - 12:01

Anxious social grant recipients given chance to collect cash and shop

On day four of SA's Covid-19 lockdown, the elderly and disabled on Monday got their chance to stock up on basic essentials as staggered payments of their grants started.

Some expressed concern about their health while they are outdoors, but precautions including social distancing and hand sanitisers were observed at paypoints.

March 30 2020 - 11:54

'Our anthem is a prayer' - SA's celebs take up the #AnthemChallengeRSA to spread hope

As SA enters day four of the 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, some of Mzansi's favourite musicians have taken up a challenge to sing the national anthem to spread hope and unity.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Zolani Mahola, KB Mamosadi, Moonchild, Busiswa, Proverb and Tumi Morake are just some of the artists who lent their voice to the project, encouraging all South Africans to do the same.

March 30 2020 - 11:45

WATCH | How lockdown has cleared SA's city streets

March 30 2020 - 11:35

This video from staff at a Joburg hospital is for you, the chance-takers

Emergency care workers at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg have posted a video appealing for South Africans to stay at home.

March 30 2020 - 11:20

Dtv launches Easter channel during lockdown

In responding to a rallying call from the communications department, DStv will air a new pop up channel for Christianity groupings on April 9. The channel is aimed at viewers who are home over the Easter weekend.

Africa Easter Channel will be aired on DStv Channel 343. 

March 30 2020 - 10:55

Alexandra food seller has a permit but soldiers closed him down

An Alexandra business owner said on Monday it was difficult to operate his establishment during the coronavirus lockdown as, within a matter of days, police officers and soldiers patrolling the townships were applying different rules to businesses.

March 30 2020 - 10:48

Spar apologises for misinformation that pets can carry coronavirus

30 March 2020 - 10:44

30 March 2020 - 10:35

Four cases of Covid-19 in Sasolburg is fake news, says department of health

The Free State department of health has denied claims that there had been cases of Covid-19 reported in Sasolburg, after a letter claiming to be from the provincial department stated that there had been four cases reported in the township of Zamdela.

30 March 2020 - 10:15

Mzansi reacts to Ntsiki Mazwai's scathing open letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa

30 March 2020 - 10:10

30 March 2020 - 09:00


30 March 2020 - 08:45

WATCH | This video from staff at a Joburg hospital is for you, the chance-takers

While many community members have tried to "police" their areas by outing people on social media, emergency care workers at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg have posted a video appealing for South Africans to stay at home.

In the video, doctors and nurses say they are risking their lives for you to stay home, not catch up on your fitness level. Check out the video.


March 30 2020 8:34

Today is the day that Sassa payouts begin.

March 30 2020 07:37

Only one Gauteng Covid-19 patient still in ICU, and recovering well: MEC

Of the 584 people in Gauteng who have tested positive for the coronavirus, 15 are in hospital — nine in private facilities and six in government institutions.

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku, who was speaking on eNCA over the weekend, said these were patients with mild symptoms.

Four people who had been in intensive care had recovered, he said.

Only one person remained in ICU, Masuku disclosed, and she was also responding well to treatment. Read more 

30 March 2020 - 07:14

No kissing 'and sneeze in style', police minister tells law enforcers

Cele addressed a police and an army contingent in Cape Town on Saturday about a wide range of issues pertaining to the national 21- day lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.

Among the issues Cele emphasised are that no more than 50 people are allowed to attend a funeral, taxis can only carry 50% of their capacity, people cannot buy “cooked food” and “alcohol” from shops and dog walking is not permitted.

He said some supermarkets were moving alcohol from the spirits section to general grocery divisions.

“It looks like some South Africans have not begun to take the situation seriously,” said Cele.

“The number (of infections) has gone beyond 1,000, and the person has died in this city, which means it is not a joke. Read more.

30 March 2020 - 04:18 

‘Truly amazing’: the journey from Wuhan to SA

The moment a little girl ran through the doors of the SAA Airbus A340-600 on the runway in Wuhan, China, was something Ahmed Bham will never forget.

She was the first South African to enter the plane and begin the process of being repatriated from the coronavirus epicentre. Read the article here

29 March 2020 - 21:29

In case you missed the  debate around cigarettes:

No, cigarettes are not essential during lockdown, say police

In a short statement sent out to media, national police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo said: "In response to posts on various social media platforms, please be advised that cigarettes and tobacco are NOT essential items." Read more.