COVID-19 WRAP | 2,415 cases in SA, looting at food shops and Ramaphosa requests time over booze ban

14 April 2020 - 06:16 By TimesLIVE
A man wearing a face mask is seen reflected in his electric bike's rearview mirror after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province and China's epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, on April 14 2020.
A man wearing a face mask is seen reflected in his electric bike's rearview mirror after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province and China's epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, on April 14 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Aly Song

April 14 2020 - 21:12

Police help Cape bottle stores move stock as looting spreads to food shops

Police in the Western Cape are helping bottle store owners who fear looters to move their stock to safer locations.

Community safety MEC Albert Fritz said the Western Cape Liquor Authority had approved the clearing of 31 shops, and most of them had already transported their stock to safer premises.

April 14 2020 - 20:42

Checkers store in Cape Town closes due to Covid-19 infection

A Checkers store in Cape Town has temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for Covid-19.

Aadilah Ryklief, manager of Bayside Mall in Table View, said the store would reopen once the health department gave it permission to do so.

April 14 2020 - 20:31

Union slams KZN health department after workers suspended for refusing to treat Covid-19 patient without PPE

The Public Servants Association (PSA) has criticised disciplinary action launched against eight emergency medical services (EMS) employees who refused to assist a Covid-19 patient.

The employees are based at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.

April 14 2020 - 19:02

12 Mediclinic Morningside staff contract Covid-19, 100 'potential contacts' tested

At least 12 staff members at the Mediclinic in Morningside, Johannesburg, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Mediclinic confirmed the dozen cases, and said seven of the staff members were health care workers.

April 14 2020 - 17:52

US coronavirus death toll tops 24,000 - Reuters tally

US deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 24,000 on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, as officials debated how to reopen the economy without reigniting the outbreak.

The US, with the world's third-largest population, has recorded more fatalities from Covid-19 than any other country. There were a total of nearly 583,000 US cases with nearly 2-million reported cases globally.

On Monday, the US reported about 1,500 new fatalities, far below last week's running tally of roughly 2,000 deaths every 24 hours, according to a Reuters tally. US deaths exceeded 24,400 on Tuesday with many states yet to report.

- Reuters

April 14 2020 - 17:37

99-year-old Briton raises millions for health workers

A 99-year-old war veteran has raised more than 2 million pounds (R45m) for British health workers by attempting to walk the length of his garden one hundred times before his 100th birthday later this month.

Retired captain Tom Moore, who has used a walker to move around since breaking his hip, said he was grateful to the National Health Service (NHS) for the treatment he received in the past and wanted to do something in return.

Britain's state-funded NHS is under severe strain as it treats large numbers of people suffering from Covid-19.

The death toll from Covid-19 in British hospitals reached 11,329 on Monday, the fifth highest globally.

- Reuters

April 14 2020 - 17:28

Ekurhuleni launches Covid-19 food bank so poor don't go hungry

Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina on Tuesday launched a food bank to provide relief to the poor during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Masina said the food bank would ensure that no resident in the city goes to bed hungry because of the coronavirus. He called on the privileged to make donations.

April 14 2020 - 17:20

Survey launched to find out Covid-19's effect on health workers

Just how severely does Covid-19 affect health workers?

This is a key question in a joint study between the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s medical school.

The two institutions are seeking to understand how the virus is affecting South African health workers, both physically and emotionally.

April 14 2020 - 16:57

LISTEN | Defaulting on treatment puts HIV and TB patients at higher risk for coronavirus

April 14 2020 - 16:42

Uganda extends coronavirus lockdown for three more weeks

President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday extended Uganda's initial 14-day lockdown by an extra three weeks, until May 5, as part of efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Uganda and Rwanda have imposed a total lockdown in their fight against Covid-19, in East Africa's most stringent response to the infection.

Other countries in the region have preferred to ban or impose restrictions and closures only on sectors with the greatest potential to spread the virus like air and other travel, schools and public gatherings.

- Reuters

April 14 2020 - 16:01

Zimbabwe president threatens 20 years jail over fake Covid-19 statement

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday threatened 20 years in jail to the author of a statement purporting to bear his signature that said the lockdown to contain the coronavirus outbreak had been extended.

Mnangagwa, who was speaking at his farm after touring Gweru city in central Zimbabwe, told state broadcaster ZBC the statement, which circulated on social media last week and was immediately denied by the government, was fake.

April 14 2020 - 15:59

IN PICTURES | SA man returns from Ghana thanks to government help

After a two week wait, a South African who was stranded in Ghana was finally able to touch down in Mzansi.

Calvin Jacobs, from Morningside, Durban, is a project manager on a gas pipeline in Takoradi, 200km east of Accra. He had been stranded in Ghana as the country closed its airports 12 hours before he was meant to fly back home.

On Monday, he arrived in Johannesburg with about 60 other South Africans who work in Ghana following a repatriation process facilitated by the department of international relations and co-operation.

April 14 2020 - 15:52

Number of inmates in East London prison with Covid-19 jumps to 53

The number of inmates to test positive for Covid-19 at the East London prison has shot up to 53.

The correctional services department has confirmed a huge spike in infected inmates and officials. It had that the number of cases at the correctional centre had increased by 49 in just two days.

April 14 - 15:42

Loss of smell and taste could be early warning signs of Covid-19: study

After reports that those infected with Covid-19 have experienced a loss of taste and smell, new US research has found evidence that individuals who lose these two senses are 10 times more likely to be infected with the virus.

Carried out by researchers at UC San Diego Health, the new study looked at survey responses from 262 patients reporting flu-like symptoms, 59 of whom had tested positive for Covid-19 and 203 who had tested negative.

April 14 2020 - 15:34

Ramaphosa will respond on Friday to demands to lift booze ban

President Cyril Ramaphosa has asked the Gauteng Liquor Forum to give him until Friday to fully respond to its letter demanding the lifting or changes to regulations banning alcohol sales under lockdown rules in SA.

In a letter addressed to the forum's legal representative Eric Mabuza, the presidency said said it had noted concerns expressed by the forum.

Health workers wearing protective face masks react during a tribute for their co-worker Esteban, a male nurse that died during the Covid-19 outbreak, outside the Severo Ochoa Hospital in Leganes, Spain, on April 13 2020.
Health workers wearing protective face masks react during a tribute for their co-worker Esteban, a male nurse that died during the Covid-19 outbreak, outside the Severo Ochoa Hospital in Leganes, Spain, on April 13 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Susana Vera

April 14 2020 - 15:32

April 14 2020 - 15:27

UK men who entered SA illegally being tested for Covid-19 in Durban hospital under police guard

Two British citizens who were charged with entering the country illegally from Swaziland are being tested for Covid-19. 

The two men, whose identities are known to TimesLIVE, were set to appear in the Durban magistrate's court on Tuesday.

The men, aged 38 and 41, were arrested at a guesthouse in Umbilo, Durban, on Sunday after they ran away from police at the Swaziland border. They were charged with contravening the Immigration and Disaster Management Acts.

April 14 2020 - 15:24

Pregnant women and moms now have one-stop site for expert Covid-19 info

A collaboration between South African NGOs is one of the first in the world to create a Covid-19 information platform for pregnant women and mothers as they grapple with so many unknowns during the pandemic.

Focusing on physical and mental health, they provide expert input on what many mothers are thinking about, such as the safety of pregnancy during the pandemic, how to protect a newborn from Covid-19 and ways to cope with stress.

April 14 2020 - 15:22

Big jump in new Covid-19 cases in SA

There were nearly 150 new Covid-19 cases announced for SA on Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said that there were now 2,415 cases in the country, up from 2,272 announced on Monday evening - a jump of 143 cases.

April 14 2020 - 15:08

Home affairs outlines measures to deal with immigration, work visas

People whose visas to work, study or conduct business in SA expired during the Covid-19 lockdown will not be penalised, home affairs said on Tuesday.

This also applies to people who submitted their applications before the lockdown, with the outcome pending.

April 14 2020 - 15:01

Outsurance reduces car premiums, but many competitors aren't matching parked car boon

Direct insurer Outsurance on Tuesday announced an across-the-board 15% reduction in its existing car insurance policies for May, joining those of its competitors which “recognise the reduced kilometres travelled and claims frequency during the lockdown”.

April 14 2020 - 14:48

Mine employees heeding call to return to work turned away at roadblocks

The request by Implala Platinum for some employees to return to work on Tuesday was disrupted by roadblocks preventing workers reaching the mine.

The company issued a notice to employees on Sunday to return to work during the lockdown, saying it had been granted an exemption by the department of mineral resources & energy.

But "many" workers could not get to work after being turned back at roadblocks, Implats spokesperson Johan Theron said on Tuesday.

April 14 2020 - 14:36

Regulation of liquor must be discussed after lockdown, says David Makhura

Gauteng premier David Makhura said the question of how to regulate alcohol use and sales should be under discussion once the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19 has been lifted.

Speaking at the opening of the Springs food bank in Ekurhuleni on Tuesday, Makhura said there had been calls for a relaxation on the sale of products banned during the lockdown, including liquor.

Makhura said the liquor industry contributed to employment but he said the use of liquor also had social effects.

April 14 2020 - 13:28

‘We can overcome this pandemic’: Gauteng health MEC

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku remains hopeful the country will overcome the Covid-19 pandemic with limited casualties.

“We believe we can overcome, and will overcome with not many casualties,” Masuku said during the handover of personal protective equipment (PPE) in Sandton on Tuesday.

April 14 2020 - 12:29

Pregnant Roodepoort woman who contracted Covid-19 is now negative

A 30-year-old pregnant woman from Roodepoort in Gauteng who contracted Covid-19 has now recovered and is negative.

After staying in self-isolation for the prescribed 14 days, Morgan Brink retested for the virus last Thursday.

“I am negative,” an elated Brink told TimesLIVE. She was upbeat and active on Tuesday.

April 14 2020 | 10:34

UJ vice-chancellor pledges 33% of his salary to Covid-19 Solidarity Fund

The vice-chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, has become the latest head in the tertiary sector to pledge 33% of his salary to the Covid-19 Solidarity Fund.

In a statement, Marwala said the decision to pledge a third of his salary was “an easy decision to take as the crisis requires leadership and personal sacrifices”.

April 14 2020 | 7:52

Contain alcohol use to keep emergency rooms open for Covid-19, expert says

In order to keep hospitals open, the use of medical centres for other reasons needed to be minimised, Professor Glenda Gray said on Monday evening during a discussion on the country's fight against the coronavirus.

This includes alcohol-related cases at hospitals.

Gray said SA's Medical Research Council will be looking at ways to minimise alcohol-related admissions at hospitals.

April 14 2020 | 7:00

Lockdown | Diary of a single, Soweto mom: the extension didn't surprise me, I'd prepared for it

I’ve spotted a few police vans in my neighbourhood since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the extension of the lockdown on Thursday last week and while I didn't witness any arrests, it's clear that the authorities are still hard at work.

April 14 2020 | 6:57

'Celebrities are not teachers': Education department slammed for hiring celebs to teach during lockdown

The digital learning initiative, Free Stem Lockdown Digital School,  started over the Easter weekend and is aimed to assist pupils with their studies during the extended lockdown, set until the end of April.

April 14 2020 | 6:30

Dislike of partners a Covid-19 lockdown consequence, depression hotline shows

“Since lockdown we’re definitely seeing more calls about social isolation and loneliness, people who are not locking down with loved ones or family but doing it by themselves. We’re seeing people’s anxiety a lot more heightened, especially as we’re seeing the cases increase,” Chambers says.

April 14 2020 | 6:17

SA cities prepare for mass graves as Covid-19 death toll climbs

As SA’s Covid-19 death toll hits 25, municipalities are preparing emergency cemeteries. 

April 14 2020 | 04:36

Stupid lockdown laws are turning us all into criminals. Change them, Cyril

Not being able to get out earn an income has made life a living hell for so many.