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COVID-19 WRAP | SA infections climb to 52,991 as trauma cases linked to alcohol fill up hospitals

09 June 2020 - 07:35 By TimesLIVE
Dr GJ Joubert Primary School in Strand, Cape Town defied all odds, teachers found innovative ways to keep the pupils safe on 9 June 2020.
Dr GJ Joubert Primary School in Strand, Cape Town defied all odds, teachers found innovative ways to keep the pupils safe on 9 June 2020.

June 9 2020 - 20:51

Your granny could need that bed, says Western Cape government as alcohol cases fill up hospitals

With the province's hospital system already under pressure from Covid-19, the Western Cape government says it is concerned about an increase in trauma cases linked to alcohol.

"A number of our hospitals have seen a significant spike in trauma cases linked to alcohol use since the sale of alcohol was unbanned on June 1," it said in a statement on Tuesday.

It added that alcohol abuse was taking away hospital beds and medical care from people who needed it during the coronavirus pandemic.

June 9 2020 - 20:36

82 more Covid-19 deaths as SA cases climb to 52,991

Eighty-two additional Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Tuesday - 61 of which were in the Western Cape.

The other deaths were in the Eastern Cape (11) and Gauteng (10).

This means there have now been 1,162 confirmed fatalities from the respiratory illness.

June 9 2020 - 19:25

HIV and TB 'less deadly' than diabetes, old age in Covid-19 cases

Having diabetes or being older than 50 are far deadlier than HIV and TB in a person who contracts Covid-19.

This was revealed by brand new data based on statistics from the Western Cape. The data was described by an analyst as “revolutionary”.

This is the first ever public data on Covid-19 death-risk posed by HIV and TB from a large enough sample.

June 9 2020 - 18:50

SA Air Force headquarters shut down after two employees test positive for Covid-19

The South African Air Force headquarters building has been temporarily closed after two employees tested positive for Covid-19.

In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, the South African National Defence Force said the building was closed on Tuesday until further notice for deep cleaning.

June 9 2020 - 17:42

ICC allows for players showing symptoms of Covid-19 to be substituted in Test matches

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has allowed for Covid-19 substitutes to be used in Test matches in the event a participant shows symptoms of the dreaded respiratory disease.

In a press release‚ the ICC said the match referee will be able to approve a substitute under the same guidelines that govern concussion substitutes.

This is an important development considering that Test cricket is set to resume in the United Kingdom as the West Indies will be engaging England in a three-match Wisden Trophy Test series.

June 9 2020 - 17:38

Dlamini-Zuma slams 'vague' lockdown judgment as lawyers file appeal

Co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has argued that a judgment which labelled lockdown regulations as “invalid” was vague and does not tell her which rules should be changed and how she should do so.

This is contained in court papers filed on behalf of the Cogta minister on Monday as she seeks to appeal the high court judgment.

Last week, the North Gauteng High Court declared that the lockdown level 3 and 4 regulations promulgated by Dlamini-Zuma were “unconstitutional” and “invalid”.

June 9 2020 - 17:20

Ensuring students' safety key to reopening universities: Nzimande

The government is trying to strike a balance between saving lives and saving the academic year.

This is according to higher education minister Blade Nzimande, who was speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday.

He said since the beginning of lockdown level 3, universities across the country had been allowed to open campuses and residences for 33% of their student population. However, there are conditions on who qualifies for this group. 

June 9 2020 - 16:33

Nearly 50 KZN schools still haven't opened, two close with Covid-19 cases

At least 46 schools are yet to open in KwaZulu-Natal, while two others have been closed just a day after reopening due to teachers testing positive for Covid-19.

This was revealed by premier Sihle Zikalala on the sidelines of a visit to Ohlange High School in Inanda, Durban, on Tuesday.

June 9 2020 - 16:17

Poor Cape Town primary school gets innovative to keep pupils safe

A Western Cape school has refused to let a lack of funding and space stop it from providing pupils with a safe learning environment.

Teachers at the GJ Joubert Primary School in Strand have constructed shields on each pupil's desk, using wooden frames and transparent plastic.

The brains behind the innovation is veteran teacher Angus Hartley.

June 9 2020 - 15:48

Paris prosecutor investigating France's handling of virus crisis

The chief prosecutor in Paris said on Tuesday that he has opened a probe into the French state's handling of the coronavirus outbreak, with possible charges including "involuntary homicide" and "endangering life".

The investigation, which comes after complaints were filed by members of the public, is not aimed at determining "political or administrative responsibility," Remy Heitz told AFP, but whether national authorities had committed "possible criminal offences."

President Emmanuel Macron, as head of state, has immunity from prosecution and is not a target of the inquiries.


June 9 2020 - 15:39

Data shows thirsty South Africans behaved differently on June 1 when alcohol went on sale

Thirsty South Africans wasted no time in heading to queues to quench their thirst for alcohol on the morning of June 1 ahead of bottle stores reopening after the lockdown prohibition.

As thousands of customers lined up at stores across the country to get their hands on alcohol, research and analytics company Lightstone said the data confirmed South Africans' behaviour had changed.

Using aggregated and anonymised Tracker data, the company looked at the patterns of behaviour of vehicles travelling to retail destinations to see whether there was a significant surge in the number of people going to bottle stores.

June 9 2020 - 15:21

Durban old age body levels 'elder abuse' accusation against residents flouting lockdown rules

The Association for the Aged (Tafta) in Durban has accused some of its residents of putting others at risk of contracting Covid-19 by not wearing masks or restricting their outings to only essential trips.

The NPO, which looks after about 2,000 elderly residents in 13 care homes throughout greater Durban, said on Tuesday that elder on elder abuse had “reared its head in the context of rights infringement, as elders determined to exercise their constitutional freedoms bring risk to others”, in these facilities.

June 9 2020 - 14:58

Members of parliament maintaining social distancing in the National Assembly

June 9 2020 - 14:53

WATCH LIVE | Nzimande gives update for reopening of universities under level 3

CCMA goes digital to enable filing of disputes during pandemic

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) has introduced a free digital platform for people to refer conciliation and arbitration disputes and make enforcement or condonation applications.

It was introduced to help ensure efficient and effective case referral and application processes, which are also safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The CCMA has seen large numbers of people visiting its offices to file referrals.

Labour minister Thulas Nxesi said for the month of April, there were 1,682 referrals — mostly dealing with retrenchment applications and dismissals.    

President Cyril Ramaphosa sends condolences to families as Covid-19 deaths reach the 1,000 mark

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday sent his condolences to all South Africans who have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus.

His message came as the Covid-19 death toll in the country passed the 1,000 mark on Monday, reaching 1,080.

In a statement, Ramaphosa said each death was a tragedy.

“Each one represents a unique life: a parent, a child, a sibling or a friend. Each one leaves behind a family and a community in mourning,” said Ramaphosa.

June 9 2020 - 14:13

'We are not a separate state': ANC on deployment of cabinet ministers to Covid-19 hotspots in Western Cape

The leader of the official opposition party in the Western Cape, Cameron Dugmore, has welcomed the deployment of ministers to help fight the spread of Covid-19 in the province.

Dugmore said in a statement that maximum unity was needed in the fight against the virus.

“Resources, effort and energy must be combined and integrated. The president’s intervention will assist in promoting co-operative governance in the Western Cape. 

June 9 2020 - 13:22

Two Durban high schools close after teachers test positive for Covid-19

Two Durban high schools were forced to close on Tuesday after a teacher at each school tested positive for Covid-19. 

Matric pupils at Clairwood Secondary and Apollo Secondary, both situated south of Durban, were cautioned to remain at home one day after school resumed on Monday. 

In a letter addressed to parents, Apollo Secondary School governing body chairperson R Hirchan said an educator, who had not reported to school on Tuesday, had tested positive for Covid-19. 

June 9 2020 - 12:35

DA to discuss Pandemic Data Analysis professions on why they are challenging government's Covid-19 projections

June 9 2020 - 12:11

85% of pupils in Gauteng attended school on Monday, while 39 Covid-19 cases were reported

Eleven Gauteng schools were unable to reopen on Monday, while the majority of schools in the province reopened successfully, the education department said.

“This serves to confirm that Gauteng recorded an 85% attendance of learners and educators for the first day of the reopening of schools,” said the department's spokesperson, Steve Mabona.

He said most of the schools did not reopen due to infrastructure issues which were being addressed. In some cases, principals closed schools unilaterally due to misunderstandings regarding the availability of scanners or screeners.

June 9 2020 - 11:58

Eastern Cape Covid-19 death toll predicted to hit 6,000 by peak in November

The Eastern Cape could see up to 6,000 deaths in the next four months due to Covid-19.

The projected deaths are expected to occur during the peak of the virus between October and November.

The prediction forms part of a comprehensive report compiled by the Eastern Cape provincial command council run by premier Oscar Mabuyane, reports HeraldLIVE.

“If the modelling is correct the Eastern Cape is at the start of an exponential increase in deaths over the next three months,” the report reads.

June 9 2020 - 11:25

Eastern Cape health staff allegedly told to stay silent about testing positive for Covid-19 - report

Health workers in the Eastern Cape are allegedly being told by managers not to reveal their positive Covid-19 status in case this leads to their colleagues staying away from work.  

At least two people — one a nurse and the other a driver — have allegedly been told to keep their status hidden, but the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) has claimed such cases are widespread in the province.  

June 9 2020 - 10:36

WATCH | This advert making fun of the lockdown & some regulations will make your day

If you're the type to skip adverts on YouTube, think twice before you pass on insurance company King Price's new advert, poking fun at the lockdown and some of the regulations that apply under alert level 3.

It starts off with a traffic officer who takes the motorist's temperature using a thermometer gun before he exclaims, “Ma'am, you're very hot,” and in response she says, “Yeah, I know but I'm married.”

June 9 2020 - 10:35

Hair and beauty industry's fight with government is about to get uglier

The hair and beauty industry has given the director-general of the trade and industry department until noon to provide guidelines for salons, spas and tattoo parlours to reopen under level 3, or the Employers Organisation for Hairdressing, Cosmetology and Beauty (EOHCB) will go to court.

EOHCB national manager Cobus Grobler confirmed the department failed to meet its “self-invoked” deadline to publish health protocols and guidelines on June 5, which would have led to personal care services being reintroduced under alert level 3 of the national lockdown.

The EOHCB then instructed its lawyers to immediately dispatch a letter to the director-general of the department, calling for a response by close of business on June 8 to enable the EOHCB to consider its position going forward.

June 9 2020 - 08:55

WATCH | Parents must step up: Call as street bash prompts booze ban proposal

Large crowds of unruly teenagers drinking in public in Nelson Mandela Bay have caused a big headache for police — with stun grenades necessary to break up a party at the weekend.

After two weekends of decadent partying in New Brighton and Zwide — in defiance of the coronavirus lockdown regulations — police and community members met on Monday to try to find a solution to the problem, reports HeraldLIVE.

June 9 2020 — 07:36

EFF throw their toys out of pram saying they won't be part of Ramaphosa's Covid-19 consultative meetings

“Don't listen to the ANC government. don't listen to the ministers, listen to the World Health Organisation on how we can protect ourselves from Covid-19. We no longer have a president to listen to because he said it is in our hands, now we listen to international bodies.”

“There is a kitchen cabinet somewhere that runs this country we are used to legitimise those kitchen cabinet decisions. We will no longer participate in those meetings because it is a waste of time. Cyril doesn't listen to us, he listens to those who give him money to become president.”

June 9 2020 — 07:24

Kasi entrepreneurs seize the day as delivery orders boom

After losing his office space during the Covid-19 lockdown, entrepreneur Thulani Mkhabela saw a gap for an online delivery service in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, that could bring in an income.

The founder of Siyeza Delivery, an online courier service for fast food, grocery, clothing and pharmacy orders, had recently left the corporate world to build a company that would service his township.

“We started a company called Midembev in 2019 and were distributing beverages to local spazas in townships when this pandemic came in and kicked us out of our offices,” he said.

June 9 2020 — 07:20

Let tourists come to SA from September, urges travel association

The African Travel and Tourism Association (Atta) has called for international inbound tourism to resume as “close to September 1 as possible”.

“By opening up as close to September 1 in a responsible manner, we will save the entire 2021 inbound tourism revenue stream and tourism in SA,” the trade association, which promotes tourism to Africa, said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

It said that though parts of the travel and tourism sector have been earmarked for return in levels 2 and 1, depending on their risk profiles and the spread of Covid-19 in SA, the association has already seen the inclusion of business travel in level 3 through successful lobbying for earlier reopening of this critical sector.

June 9 2020 — 07:18

POLL | Were you comfortable sending your child to school on Monday?

As schools started reopening on Monday across SA, pupils in grades 7 and 12 were the first to return after a three-month hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the disease.

Schools were expected to reopen on June 1, but this was postponed after consultations between basic education minister Angie Motshekga, unions and other education stakeholders. The postponement was due to some schools not being compliant with Covid-19 safety requirements, reported TimesLIVE.

June 9 2020 — 07:17

Save the Covid sermons for Sunday school, teachers told

There will be no fire and brimstone in class.

This is the stern instruction to teachers, who are not to make Covid-19 about God or religion.