COVID-19 WRAP | Nearly 1,000 new Covid-19 cases in SA, 22 more deaths recorded

18 May 2020 - 08:12 By TIMESLIVE
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May 18 2020 - 22:16

Nearly 1,000 new Covid-19 cases in SA, 22 more deaths recorded

Nearly 1,000 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in SA in the past 24 hours, as the death toll climbed to 286.

The total number of cases had climbed from 15,515 on Sunday to 16,433. Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize released the figures on Monday evening.

May 18 2020 - 21:14

Covid-19 cases in prisons pass 600

The number of coronavirus infections in SA’s prison system has jumped to 605, with the Western Cape accounting for as many as 24 new cases.

This is according to correctional services spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo.

May 18 2020 - 20:08

UK adds loss of taste and smell to coronavirus symptoms

Britain added a loss of taste and smell to its list of coronavirus symptoms Monday and broadened eligibility for tests as it seeks to prevent a second wave of cases when the lockdown eases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is racing to implement a new "track and trace" regime to control COVID-19, after nearly 35,000 deaths — the worst toll in Europe.

- Reuters

May 18 2020 - 19:40

Report into JMPD officers at Collins Khosa’s death to be finalised on Tuesday

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) on Monday said it expected an investigation into the conduct of officers who were at the scene when an Alexandra man was allegedly beaten to death to be completed on Tuesday.

Collins Khosa was allegedly beaten by soldiers — in the presence of metro police officers — at his home on April 10 during a lockdown operation. He later succumbed to his wounds.

May 18 2020 - 19:02

Department's plans for staggered schooling gets the thumbs up

Education stakeholders have welcomed the basic education department's proposals to rearrange the school timetable so that different grades could be taught on alternate days or on alternate weeks.

A third option on the cards is getting overcrowded schools to introduce a “platoon” system, where some grades are taught in the morning until midday and others in the afternoon.

May 18 2020 - 18:30

First Covid-19 vaccine tested in the US shows promise in data from eight people

Early data from Moderna Inc's Covid-19 vaccine, the first to be tested in the US, showed that it produced protective antibodies in a small group of healthy volunteers, the company said on Monday.

The data comes from eight people who took part in a 45-subject safety trial that kicked off in March.

The Moderna vaccine is one of more than 100 under development intended to protect against the novel coronavirus that has infected more than 4.7 million people globally and killed over 315,000.

- Reuters

May 18 2020 - 18:04

Paying admission of guilt fine during lockdown will get you a criminal record, parliament hears

Concerns have been raised in parliament over law-abiding citizens incurring criminal records for breaching Covid-19 lockdown provisions.

“Most people do not realise that they will then have a criminal record, which would have a serious impact on obtaining work, as well as other legal implications,” said African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Steve Swart on Monday.

Swart put questions to the justice department and to Legal Aid SA during a meeting of parliament's justice portfolio committee, where he cited police statistics presented to parliament on April 29 that more than 118,000 people had been charged during the initial lockdown.

May 18 2020 - 17:09

WHO chief promises review of coronavirus response, China pledges $2bn

The World Health Organisation said on Monday an independent review of the global coronavirus response would begin as soon as possible, and received backing and a hefty pledge of funds from China, in the spotlight as the origin of the pandemic.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made his promise during a virtual meeting of the WHO's decision-making body, the World Health Assembly, at which Chinese President Xi Jinping defended his country's own handling of the crisis.

US President Donald Trump has fiercely questioned the WHO's performance during the pandemic, withdrawing US funding after accusing it of being too China-centric, and at the same time leading international criticism of China's lack of transparency in the early stages of the crisis.

Tedros, who has always promised a post-pandemic review, said it would come "at the earliest appropriate moment" and provide recommendations for future preparedness. experience," Tedros said.

- Reuters

May 18 2020 - 16:37

Morocco extends coronavirus lockdown to June 10

Morocco is to extend its national lockdown to contain the spread of the new coronavirus until June 10, Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani said on Monday.

Morocco had confirmed 6,930 coronavirus cases, including 192 deaths, by Monday morning, as the rise of hot spots within families and factories complicates efforts to curb infections.

- Reuters

May 18 2020 - 16:36

Nigeria to impose 'precision lockdown' in coronavirus hot spots

Nigeria will impose 'precision lockdown' measures in areas that report rapid increases in cases of the new coronavirus, the chairman of the presidential task force said on Monday.

The government also extended a full lockdown in the northern economic hub of Kano state, which has the second highest number of confirmed cases in the country, behind the commercial capital of Lagos, and where authorities are investigating a spate of mysterious deaths.

- Reuters

May 18 2020 - 16:34

Zimbabwe police sued over Bulawayo man's lockdown death

Bulawayo resident Levison Ncube, 25, died from “subarachnoid haemorrhage and head trauma” a few days after police allegedly beat him for allegedly violating Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 lockdown rules in April.

The cause of his death is contained in a post-mortem report conducted by a government pathologist at the local United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), seen by TimesLIVE.

Levison and his pregnant girlfriend were on their way to the shops to buy basic commodities in Mabuthweni, a low income suburb in Bulawayo, when police reprimanded them.

Armed with the post-mortem, the deceased’s family has filed a notice of intent to sue Godwin Matanga, the commissioner-general of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

May 18 2020 - 16:23

SA part of several initiatives to develop Covid-19 vaccine: Cyril Ramaphosa

SA is participating in several research initiatives with continental and international partners as part of the global effort to develop, manufacture and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine, says President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa, who is also the current African Union (AU) chair, made the remark at the 73rd World Health Assembly — the first ever to be convened virtually.

“To turn back the frontiers of the pandemic, we also need to deepen international collaboration around research and development and investment in essential medical technologies in Covid-19 diagnostics and therapeutics and in vaccines,” said Ramaphosa.

May 18 2020 - 15:47

Winter initiation season cancelled over fears of quick Covid-19 spread

The Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) has warned that the winter initiation season could become fertile ground for the coronavirus to spread quickly among initiates.

Zolani Mkiva, Contralesa secretary-general, said the institution’s national executive committee (NEC) had unanimously resolved to not only suspend the winter season, but to cancel it.

“We could not afford to risk the lives of our children. Of course, it was not an easy decision but Covid-19 has disrupted everything in the universe and this makes the year 2020 an unusual year in the history of human rights,” he said.

May 18 2020 - 15:08

India won't rush players back despite facilities opening

India's cricketers will not be rushed back into training even after the country gave the green light on Sunday for sports facilities to open, the national cricket board has said.

India has extended a nationwide lockdown to May 31 as it tries to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, and while stadiums and sports complexes are reopening to allow athletes to train there will be no events staged that would draw spectators.

With travel and other restrictions in place, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said it would wait before scheduling any training camp for its contracted players.

May 18 2020 - 14:30

'Involve other academic disciplines in Covid-19 response': Academy of Science

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) is appealing to the government to include in its Covid-19 response other academic disciplines that will provide insight on the impact of the pandemic beyond the medical discourse.

The letter signed by Prof Jonathan Jansen, president of ASSAf, and other professors has acknowledged and congratulated the government on its response, but said the effects of the pandemic are complex and require a far-reaching approach.

May 18 2020 - 14:15

Africa backs WHO, needs help with debt relief, supplies - Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday that Africa affirms its "full support" for the World Health Organisation (WHO) which he said had been key in guiding the international response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ramaphosa, speaking to the WHO's annual assembly being held online, said that assistance to Africa needs to include debt relief and help with diagnostics, drugs and medical supplies.

- Reuters

May 18 2020 - 13:43

Hawks arrest man who threatened to assassinate officials for ‘lying’ about Covid-19

A 58-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly threatening senior government officials for "lying" about the existence of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, the Hawks said on Monday.

He faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder and intimidation.

Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale said the man was arrested on Thursday.

May 18 2020 - 13:39

Jewellery Council calls on government to lift all restrictions on the industry

The Jewellery Council of South Africa (JCSA) is appealing to the government to consider lifting all restrictions on the industry, or at least allow e-commerce sales.

In the letter to co-operative governance & traditional affairs minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the council said the unrecoverable loss and possible collapse of the industry under an extended lockdown will not only affect those who are employed in it, but also prospective jewellers.

May 18 2020 - 13:16

Ramaphosa insists lockdown rules are based on science as court challenges mount

President Cyril Ramaphosa insists that the Covid-19 lockdown regulations are based on scientific and economic data.

This as pressure mounts on the government to ease the lockdown to prevent catastrophic damage to the country's economy.

Ramaphosa wrote this in his weekly newsletter - From the Desk of the President.

May 18 2020 - 13:07

Advocate defends her right to criticise Covid-19 lockdown rules

Gillian Benson, an advocate, on Monday says she will not apologise for expressing her own views and will continue to do so.

Business Day reported on Sunday that she was due to resume her stint as an acting judge on June 8. After her Facebook post about “Cyril and his goons”, in an apparent criticism of the country's lockdown measures, however, Gauteng judge president Dunstan Mlambo had “immediately discussed the matter with her, and both agreed it will be in the best interest of all concerned to have her acting appointment revoked”.

May 18 2020 - 12:33

Russian PM says growth of new coronavirus cases stopped

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Monday that growth of new coronavirus cases had been stopped in Russia, which has recorded the world's largest number of infections after the US.

"The situation with the spread of the coronavirus infection remains difficult but we can still acknowledge that we managed to put a stop to the growth of infections," Mishustin told a government meeting. 


May 18 2020 - 12:17

Reopening of Saint Peter's marks first step for Italy's Catholics

Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican reopened to visitors on Monday after being closed for over two months under Italy's lockdown orders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A handful of visitors queued up, observing social distancing rules, and were watched by police officers wearing face masks before having their temperatures taken to enter the church, which has been closed since March 10.

Italy was the first country to go into a full lockdown over two months ago, bringing the economy to its knees. The official death toll from the virus now stands at around 32,000.

The government started lifting restrictions on May 4, and on Sunday joggers, walkers and cyclists were plentiful on the streets of Rome's historic centre.

Restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and hairdressers, among other businesses, were all expected to reopen on Monday, with public masses also resuming.


May 18 2020 - 12:10

Western Cape's skyrocketing coronavirus numbers spark concern

The Western Cape's growing number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has sparked concern among South Africans.

The province has recorded 60% of SA's confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to the latest stats released by health minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday.

Mkhize announced a daily record of 1,160 new cases, which took the total in the country to 15,515.

May 18 2020 - 11:30

2,700 Covid-19 deaths in Africa 

The African continent has more than 84,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 2,700 people have died from the virus.

May 18 2020 - 11:27

Almost 600 coronavirus infections in SA’s prisons

There has been a steep jump in the number of coronavirus infections in the prison system.

On Saturday, the number of infections stood at 388 but by Sunday the number had jumped to 571.

Department of correctional services (DCS) spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo explained the sudden jump in infections.

May 18 2020 - 10:36

Runway repairs, five countries, eight weeks: home sweet home for 78 stranded South Africans

A South African who was a passenger on a five-country repatriation flight which flew 78 South Africans home, starting in Morocco, has described the dramatic and arduous events that led to their return.

"We are a bunch of 78 South Africans who are really relieved to be home. Now we just go through the next phase, which is much simpler than what we have been through already," James de Wet said.

De Wet was one of 28 South Africans who boarded the flight in Casablanca, Morocco, on Saturday morning before the aircraft made four stops along the route to Johannesburg.

May 18 2020 - 10:08

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma slid into 'Zol' song producers DMs: 'Well done on entertaining the nation'

She raised eyebrows after she said on her official Twitter account that she wanted to talk to the man behind the Zol song, but as it turns out, co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma thought the track was “funny”.

The man behind the hit track, music producer and DJ Max Hurrell, posted a screen grab of the minister's message to him on Twitter.

There are clearly no bad vibes.

May 18 2020 - 09:32

WATCH | Soldier's family deploys with him: fighting the war on Covid-19

Around 74,000 members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) were activated by President Cyril Ramaphosa to join the fight against the novel coronavirus from March 27 2020.

Members of the SA Defence Force (SANDF) were deployed across the country on March 27 2020. Soldiers took to the streets to help enforce lockdown regulations in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. TimesLIVE spent some time on duty with the SANDF in Alexandra. Editorial note: Captain Tshepo Mokoka Subscribe to MultimediaLIVE here: Comment Moderation Policy:

May 18 2020 - 09:32

Helen Zille criticises Dlamini-Zuma, compares lockdown to 'Nongqawuse and the Great Cattle-Killing'

The DA's federal chairperson Helen Zille has again criticised Nkosana Dlamini-Zuma for using the government's lockdown regulations for what she says is “control and authority”, exercising power “for power's sake”.

In a rant on Twitter at the weekend, Zille said the Disaster Management Act, under which the lockdown was declared, gave power to the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, instead of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

May 18 2020 - 09:31

President Ramaphosa to brief world on SA actions on Covid-19

SA's President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Monday join world leaders at a virtual session of the World Health Assembly (WHA).

Ramaphosa will provide an account of the Covid-19 strategies implemented by SA and the broader AU, which is chaired by South Africa, his office said in a statement.

May 18 2020 - 07:24

Funeral policy cancelled, educational funds put on hold: phlebotomist on lockdown crisis

Cancelling her mom's funeral policy and requesting a payment holiday for her son's education funds.

This is the story of financial strain and uncertainty for a phlebotomist who works at Lancet Laboratories, and who chose to remain anonymous.

She's is hopeful that after lockdown, things will go back to normal and she'll be able to continue taking care of her family.

May 18 2020 - 07:05

Covid-19: School on alternate days or morning, afternoon division mooted

The department of basic education is proposing that the school timetable be rearranged to allow different grades to attend classes on alternate days of the week or in alternate weeks.

Schools could also introduce a platoon system in which pupils in certain grades attend classes in the morning and others in the afternoon.

These are the three options the department's director-general, Mathanzima Mweli, put on the table during a virtual meeting with governing body associations and a principals' association on Sunday.

May 18 2020 - 06:00

IN FULL: 'Greater crisis' looms: 38 doctors plea for non-Covid health care resources

Children going without immunisations, pregnant mothers avoiding antenatal care bookings and a large number of patients with chronic comorbidities not presenting for treatment are among the repercussions of the public's fear of contracting the coronavirus.

As SA seeks to contain the spread of Covid-19, state hospitals across SA have also cut back on services and surgeries, discharged some patients earlier than usual, and even temporarily closed entire hospitals.

May 18 2020 - 06:00

'We fear Covid-19 is overshadowing other health problems': group of doctors write to president

A group of 38 medical practitioners has penned a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa saying they are concerned the Covid-19 pandemic response is overshadowing non-Covid-19 health care problems.

The five-page letter warned that the government’s approach of having hospitals cut back on services and surgeries, discharge some patients earlier than usual and even temporarily close entire hospitals, was detrimental.

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