COVID-19 WRAP | Gauteng government to visit shopping centres to ensure compliance with Covid-19 rules

12 May 2020 - 08:01 By TimesLIVE
Health workers at Tygerberg hospital staged demonstrations where they were demanding better working conditions after two staff members died due to Covid-19​ on May 12 2020.
Health workers at Tygerberg hospital staged demonstrations where they were demanding better working conditions after two staff members died due to Covid-19​ on May 12 2020.
Image: Esa Alexander

May 12 2020 - 20:07

Gauteng government to visit shopping centres to ensure compliance with Covid-19 rules

May 12 2020 - 18:03

'Nurses deserve support and recognition every day': Presidency

May 12 2020 - 17:40

WATCH | Explainer: UIF and company pensions during Covid-19

May 12 2020 - 17:40

WATCH | Can a 100-year-old TB vaccine be SA’s secret weapon against Covid-19?

May 12 2020 - 17:37

Education departments told to restart process of getting Covid-19 essentials

Attempts by five provincial education departments to get hold of Covid-19 essentials has been scuppered.

The National Treasury has told the departments to cancel orders from Imperial Holdings “due to non-performance” by the company.

May 12 2020 - 17:36

'I lived in fear of infecting my son': nurses on the frontline against virus

There is nothing that puts a smile on Sister Vuyiseka Gqabhuka's face like delivering a healthy newborn baby.

"I love bringing babies into this world. It is rewarding and fulfilling to see what my hands can do in a few minutes, bringing a healthy baby into the world," said Gqabhuka, a mid-wife at Stretford community centre in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.

Gqabhuka, who has worked as a nurse since 2016, regards her job as a calling. And it's a special occasion on International Nurses Day.

May 12 2020 - 17:35

'I feel like going on duty is suicidal': nurses share emotional strain of Covid-19

As health workers celebrate International Nurses' Day, the fight to defeat Covid-19 comes with emotional strain and has highlighted how vulnerable SA’s front-line workers really are.

“Covid-19 changed my entire life in the blink of an eye. I've always known we will work with different types of contagious diseases, but not in my wildest dreams have I experienced such fears and anxiety as now,” Sylvia Rosseaw told TimesLIVE on Tuesday.

May 12 2020 - 14:38

Fight breaks out at cop shop after officers bust for breaking lockdown rules

An investigation has been launched into a fight between police officers at a station in George, Western Cape.

A video of the altercation has been widely shared on social media.

May 12 2020 - 14:19

Corona lentils put into pandemic relief food parcels

You might not expect a food parcel delivered during the pandemic to dish up some Corona, but for residents in Hanover Park near Cape Town, it was clearly stated on the label.

Some laughed, others were confused. Some said it didn’t bother them, but all did a double take when they opened their food parcel and found a bag of lentils called Corona.

A medical worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a swab sample from a man, as South Africa starts to relax some aspects of a stringent nationwide coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown in Diepsloot on May 8 2020.
A medical worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) takes a swab sample from a man, as South Africa starts to relax some aspects of a stringent nationwide coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown in Diepsloot on May 8 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

May 12 2020 - 14:19

Cigarette exports allowed so focus is on setting aside ban on local sales

No definite date has been set for a court application to challenge the ban on the sale of cigarettes to be heard.

The first part of a two-part application by the Fair-trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita), which was set to be heard in the high court in Pretoria on Tuesday, will no longer be heard because the organisation has obtained the relief it had sought.

Last week, Fita lodged a court application and divided it into two parts.

May 12 2020 - 13:57

Western Cape responsible for nearly all of SA's new Covid-19 cases

The spread of Covid-19 in Cape Town continues to outpace the rest of the Western Cape and the country as a whole.

On Tuesday, Cape Town had 5,620 confirmed cases, according to the provincial government's dashboard. This is 91% of the Western Cape's total of 6,194.

May 12 2020 - 13:19

SA Covid-19 cases increase to 11,350

The Western Cape has recorded a surge of 484 confirmed Covid-19 infections, contributing to SA's total cases rising to 11,350.

The province, with 6,105 cases, now has 53,8% of the country's infections to date, according to data from health minister Zweli Mkhize on Tuesday.

Gauteng, which has recorded 43 new cases, (2,014 - 17.7% of the national total).

May 12 2020 - 13:12

'There were about 20 police vehicles': Gabola church leader in lockdown bust

Gabola church leader Pope Tsietsi Makiti, his wife and congregants have been arrested and fined for breaking the lockdown regulations in Gauteng.

Police said the 55-year-old pastor was arrested with his 53-year-old wife at their home in Evaton North, Sedibeng, for allegedly operating the church on Sunday.

“Both were charged ... Other people were also arrested at another house in Evaton North for failing to confine themselves at their place of residence,” said police spokesperson Brig Vish Naidoo.

May 12 2020 - 12:59

250 South Africans stranded in India beg government to bring them home

A group of 250 South Africans, including a cancer patient, stranded in India have been waiting six weeks for the government to bring them home.

They were visiting different parts of India for business and leisure when the coronavirus pandemic forced both the Indian and SA governments to close their borders and cancel flights.

May 12 2020 - 12:23

'I feel like going on duty is suicidal': nurses share emotional strain of Covid-19

As health workers celebrate International Nurses' Day, the fight to defeat Covid-19 comes with emotional strain and has highlighted how vulnerable SA’s front-line workers really are.

“Covid-19 changed my entire life in a blink of an eye. I've always known that we will work with different types of contagious diseases, but not in my wildest dreams have I experienced such fears and anxiety as now,” Sylvia Rosseaw told TimesLIVE on Tuesday.

May 12 2020 - 12:11

Chair of medical schemes regulator dies of Covid-19

The chairperson of the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS), Dr Clarence Mini, has died from Covid-19, the regulator’s spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday morning.

The CMS is a statutory body charged with safeguarding the R160bn medical schemes industry and the 8.9-million lives it covers.

May 12 2020 - 12:00

Cele, Mkhize & Ramaphosa on lockdown level 3: yes, it's part of discussions

It's day 47 of hard lockdown across SA, which has seen movement curtailed, restricted business activity and zero public gatherings or social visits with friends and family.

As the economy continues to bleed and coronavirus infections continue to rise, government officials have hinted that level 3 may be on the cards.

May 12 2020 - 11:43

My family is traumatised, says KZN dad after cops grab 4-year-old son

A KwaZulu-Natal father says his family has been left traumatised following an incident in which two municipal peace officers grabbed his four-year old son while trying to enforce an arrest on Sunday. 

The 35-year-old father from Shaka's Rock on the province's Dolphin Coast issued a statement before speaking exclusively to TimesLIVE on Tuesday after a video of the incident went viral on social media.

May 12 2020 - 10:59

Essential workers in the time of Covid-19: Health workers complain about poor working conditions

Health-care workers who spoke to Sowetan anonymously ahead of International Nurses Day today have lamented their working conditions in hospitals and clinics in Gauteng.

International Nurses Day is observed around the world every year to honour the contributions nurses make to society.

A nurse who works at a government hospital in Pretoria said after seven years in the health sector, there was little to celebrate.

May 12 2020 - 10:46

PE clinic closes after a nurse dies and 11 staff test positive for Covid-19

The Eastern Cape department of health has bowed to pressure by unions to shut down Zwide Clinic in Port Elizabeth.

The closure on Monday comes after the death of a nurse a few weeks ago and 11 staff members testing positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, reports GroundUp. 

May 12 2020 - 10:33

Agreement halts plan to pour millions of litres of beer 'down the drain'

South African Breweries (SAB) has reached an agreement with the government to avoid having to pour millions of litres of beer down the drain because it could not be transported under lockdown.

The company warned last week that it may have to dump 130-million litres of beer, about 400m bottles worth, that had accumulated at its brewing facilities, which had run out of space to legally store more.

May 12 2020 - 10:27

'Underlying health conditions' driving high Covid-19 death rate in Cape

More than 65% of Covid-19 deaths in the Western Cape — which accounts for half of all deaths in the country — affected people with two or more underlying health conditions such as tuberculosis, HIV and diabetes.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Monday there were 10,652 positive cases across SA and 206 recorded deaths. He said 106 of those deaths were in the Western Cape.

Western Cape premier Alan Winde said on Monday that only 6% of known Covid-19 deaths in the province had no comorbidities (underlying health conditions).

May 12 2020 - 09:48

Lockdown level 3 looms — here's what to expect, SA

The committee overseeing the lockdown regulations is considering moving SA to level three, according to police minister Bheki Cele. This means that there will be significant changes in the way the country has operated under level 5 and 4.

According to the Covid-19 government website, although restrictions will be eased, strict measures such as social distancing and wearing of masks will still be maintained.

May 12 2020 - 08:59

'None of these pass the test of rationality': Trevor Manuel on some lockdown regulations

Former finance minister Trevor Manuel has opened up about the conduct of law enforcement under lockdown and accused government of irrationality in many lockdown regulations.

Manual is one of the African Union’s special envoys to raise funds for Africa’s fight against Covid-19.

On Monday, Manuel criticised the lockdown regulations, saying they are both endangering and failing “the test of rationality”.

May 12 2020 - 08:07

Government to provide reasons for cigarette ban: FITA

Government is expected to provide reasons for the ban on cigarette and tobacco product sales under level 4 of the lockdown.

This after the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association filed an urgent court bid for government to lift the ban, including on exports.

May 12 2020 - 06:52

Zero income and bills piling up: Jozi bartender on lockdown

He's had to borrow money to pay rent. His emotions are all over the place. He just wants things to be normal again.

But with the government implementing strict lockdown regulations, serving alcohol is unlikely to happen any time soon. One Jozi bartender, who chose to remain anonymous, doesn't know what the future will bring. At stake are his livelihood, his home and his mental health.

May 12 2020 - 06:52

WATCH | Zweli Mkhize on Cuban doctors: 'We welcome their presence'

Health minister Zweli Mkhize says he does not understand the negative sentiment towards the Cuban doctors in SA as they came to the country "out of their love for humanity".

Mkhize was in the Eastern Cape on Monday and said the Cuban doctors would be sent to the area to help with hotspots that have been identified.

He cautioned against negative criticism of the delegation, explaining that SA should be grateful to have their expertise.

May 12 2020 - 06:21

Only Gauteng and Western Cape ready to reopen schools

Gauteng and the Western Cape are the only two provinces that are ready to reopen schools.

This is what the MECs of education from the nine provincial education departments told basic education minister Angie Motshekga during a meeting to discuss the state of readiness for the reopening of schools.

Grade 12 and 7 pupils are tentatively expected back in classrooms on June 1.

May 12 2020 - 06:00

Funerals still causing a headache in the Eastern Cape

Funerals are continuing to prove a headache in the fight against the coronavirus in the Eastern Cape.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Monday that the biggest challenges facing the province were “social activities, particularly funerals”.

He said travel between the Western Cape and Eastern Cape for funerals was particularly problematic. He said the two provinces - where the vast majority of the country’s new cases were emanating from - were “operating like an ecosystem” and the numbers were showing an upward trajectory.

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