COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Restaurants, takeaways can deliver food under level 4 but no alcohol sales

25 April 2020 - 10:40 By TimesLIVE

April 25 2020 - 15:55

'Worshippers' arrested for contravening lockdown regulations

A group of worshippers were arrested in Pretoria on Friday afternoon for contravening the lockdown regulations, police said.

National police spokesperson Brig Vishnu Naidoo said that at about 1pm on Friday, members from the police Service Tactical Response Team (TRT) were conducting patrols around the Pretoria West area when they were alerted to a group of people allegedly contravening the regulations of the Disaster Management Act.

April 25 2020 - 15:19

Khayelitsha Covid-19 cases leap by 21% in a day, says Winde

Covid-19 is strengthening its grip on the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha, where cases have leapt by more than 21% in a day.

Western Cape premier Alan Winde said there were 147 confirmed cases in Khayelitsha by 5pm on Friday, up from 121 the previous day.

April 25 2020 - 13:11

Denel employees return home after being stranded in Spain

Four Denel employees who were stranded in Spain due to travel restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic have returned safely to SA, the state-owned defence products supplier said.

April 25 2020 - 12:55

Update on business activities under level 4

Trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel said on Saturday that a phased reopening of the economy under level 4 of the lockdown would allow restaurants and takeaways to deliver food to customers around the country.

He was speaking during a briefing on how the altered regulations would affect businesses.

He said reopening the economy too quickly could result in a “rapid rise” of Covid-19 infection that would force a return to level 5.

“The big focus must be on bringing the risk levels down,” he said.

Under level 4 government estimated that relaxing the regulations would enable more than 1,5m people to leave their homes and return to work, in addition to those already at work. This would effectively mean an estimated 40% of the workforce would return to work.

Under level 4 the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector will begin to reopen. This would see changes such as the transportation of livestock, animal auctions under strict conditions and logging, for example.

Manufacturing would see a partial reopening with around 20% of workers returning, more in some sub-sectors of the industry, including children’s clothing, winter clothing, blanket manufacturing, computers, mobile phones, some car manufacturing, the manufacturing of cement, construction material and hardware and stationary.

Retail and wholesale stores, regarded as a “big vector of transmission” would also reopen along with some mining activities and engineering, accounting and legal services.

“Restaurants and takeaways will be open for delivery only,” he said. This meant customers would not travel to collect food. Food would be delivered to customers. This would also create opportunities for a food delivery network in townships.

A detailed document on business activities that will be allowed would be shared on Saturday, he added.

Alcohol sales will not be permitted under level 4.

April 25 2020 - 12:25

'No evidence' yet that recovered COVID patients cannot be reinfected - WHO

The World Health Organization said on Saturday that there was currently "no evidence" that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second coronavirus infection.

In a statement, the United Nations agency warned against issuing "immunity passports" or "risk-free certificates" to people who have been infected, saying the practice may actually increase the risk of spread as they may ignore standard advice.

April 25 2020 - 12:02

NDZ reveals harsh level four regulations

Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma started explaining on Saturday morning how the  fourth level of the lockdown will work. People will still not be allowed to visit, no organised exercise will be allowed and no gatherings will be allowed.

Dlamini-Zuma said that even under level 4 of the lockdown it would be mandatory for people leaving their homes to wear a mask.

“When you leave your house you must have a cloth mask. It’s going to be mandatory using a cloth mask as you step out of your home,” she said.

Specialist masks would be reserved for frontline health workers but those without masks were encouraged to make their own, use a scarf or even a t-shirt.

“You have to have your nose and mouth covered in public …. Nobody should have an excuse.”

Dlamini-Zuma said the only exception to public gatherings were funerals and work.

“People can exercise under very strict conditions … but it will exclude any organised activity [such as gym].

The minister had a special word of caution for the elderly during the lockdown, even at level 4.

“Those who are aged 60 and above must work at home and stay at home.”

She said older people, and those with underlying medical conditions, were particularly at risk if they became infected.

“The younger you are the milder [the infection] it is.”

She urged the nation not to view the lockdown as some form of "punishment" that was damaging the economy.

“It’s not the health measures that will destroy the economy, it’s the virus, the pandemic,” she said.

April 25 2020 - 11:39

Safa management take 15 percent pay cuts

Senior management at the South African Football Association (Safa) have volunteered to take a 15 percent pay cut and also recommended several other drastic measures in a bid to soften the financial blow delivered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The managers met this week to consider various cost reduction options after they recognised that the postponement of various competitions and activities has put Safa’s finances under pressure in the wake of the outbreak.

April 25 2020 - 10:41

UIF beneficiaries qualifying for Covid-19-related payments may miss out

Thousands of people qualifying to receive UIF payments due to the disruption of work by the coronavirus may not get their money on time, if at all.

April 25 2020 - 10:33

April 25 2020 - 10:30

April 25 2020 - 10:19

99 workers at 'unsafe' Cape Town pharma factory have Covid-19

Ninety-nine staff at a single Cape Town factory which was closed down this week by the labour department have tested positive for Covid-19.

Pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline confirmed the number on Saturday, four days after the department said production and operations at the Epping factory must be suspended until safety measures were improved.

April 25 2020 - 10:03

Virus toll nears 200,000 as UN pushes for global vaccine effort

The global coronavirus death toll approached 200,000 on Saturday as the United Nations launched an international push for a vaccine to defeat the pandemic.

Governments around the world are struggling to limit the economic devastation unleashed by the virus, which has infected nearly 2.8 million people and left half of humanity under some form of lockdown.