COVID-19 WRAP | There are 111,796 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in SA, from over 1.4 million tests

24 June 2020 - 07:28 By TimesLIVE
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni
Image: GCIS

June 24 2020 - 22:36

Biggest ever single-day increase in Covid-19 cases, as SA total hits 111,796

SA's Covid-19 cases continued to climb at a rapid rate, with 5,688 cases reported in the past 24 hours.

This is not only the biggest single-day increase in confirmed cases, but also the first time that more than 5,000 cases have been recorded in a single day.

The increase means that, by Wednesday night, there were 111,796 confirmed cases of the respiratory infections caused by the coronavirus in SA.

June 24 2020 - 18:53

WHO expects virus cases to hit 10-million next week, yet to peak in Americas

The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday it expected coronavirus cases to hit 10-million worldwide in the next week, as it warned the virus was yet to peak in the Americas.

"We expect to reach a total of 10-million cases in the next week," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference.

- AFP

June 24 2020 - 17:57

IMF loans won't take our sovereignty, says Tito Mboweni

The government will not agree to any conditions compromising the national sovereignty of the country in its loans discussion of lending institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

That's the assertion from finance minister Tito Mboweni, who tabled an emergency supplementary budget in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Responding to questions at a press conference on Wednesday, Mboweni also said his discussions with the IMF would not have reached an advanced stage if he did not have the backing of the ANC's leadership in this regard.

June 24 2020 - 17:40

'This is crazy - it's like a machine': nurses on the Covid-19 front line in the Western Cape

“This place steals from you. We are emotionally drained. I'm emotionally drained from yesterday and now I have to face today.”

This is what two Western Cape nurses on the Covid-19 front line wrote on social media on Wednesday, expressing their frustration and helplessness at having to deal with patients laid low by the respiratory illness.

The Western Cape remains the epicentre of Covid-19 in SA with at least 14,837 active cases, 1,565 deaths and 54,835 cases in total since the first two were confirmed on March 10.

June 24 2020 - 17:10

SA's Covid-19 vaccine trial begins as 8 Soweto residents enter medical history books

Eight South Africans entered SA’s medical history books on Wednesday when they became the first citizens to take part in a global Covid-19 vaccine trial.

The eight, who are from Soweto, are among 2,000 people from across Gauteng who will take part in the project.

The aim of the trial is to find a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus, which to date has infected over 106,000 South Africans and killed more than 2,100 people.

June 24 2020 - 16:47

SA economy expected to have biggest contraction in 90 years: Tito Mboweni

The economy is headed to its biggest contraction in 90 years as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

This is according to finance minister Tito Mboweni, who was tabling his emergency supplementary budget on Wednesday during a virtual sitting of parliament.

Mboweni said the National Treasury now expected the local economy to shrink by 7.2% — the largest contraction in almost a hundred years.

June 24 2020 - 16:35

Government pumps R145bn into SA's coronavirus fight

Finance minister Tito Mboweni has made R145bn available to fund the government’s Covid-19 efforts.

In the supplementary budget tabled by Mboweni on Wednesday afternoon, the biggest allocations are for social grants, health, education and local government.

Around R41bn has been set aside for social grants, which have been expanded over the next six months in order to cushion the blow for the most vulnerable. This includes a R350 social relief grant to up to 8-million people who are unemployment or employed in the informal economy but receive no other grants.

June 24 2020 - 16:06

Seven key points from Tito Mboweni's 'emergency' Covid-19 budget

Finance minister Tito Mboweni laid out the full extent of the damage wrought by the Covid-19 crisis on the state’s already weak finances in his supplementary budget speech on Wednesday.

The minister confirmed expectations of a substantial rise in debt levels and a widening budget deficit.

June 24 2020 - 15:46

Budget deficit projected to widen

South Africa's budget deficit is projected to widen to 14.6% of gross domestic product in the current 2020/21 fiscal year.

Gross government debt will rise to 81.8% of GDP in the current fiscal year from 63.5% last year.

June 24 2020 - 15:42

Economy expected to shrink to record-low

South Africa's economy is projected to shrink to a record 90-year low of 7.2 percent.

Mboweni said the continent's most developed economy "is now expected to contract by 7.2 per cent in 2020," adding: "This is the largest contraction in nearly 90 years."

June 24 2020 - 15:39

Covid-19 relief money stop at end of October

Over 18 million South Africans have received a temporary Covid‐19 grant.

"The roll out of the short‐term Special Relief of Distress grant will temporarily support those without an income," said Mboweni.

"An additional 1.5 million people have received these already. To support vulnerable households, an additional allocation of R25.5 billion to the Social Development department is proposed, for a total relief package of R41 billion.

"All these measures will come to an end in October."

June 24 2020 - 15:36

Covid-19 healthcare spending gets more than R20bn

Mboweni said the Supplementary Budget proposed R21.5 billion for Covid‐19‐related health care spending.

"It also proposes a further allocation of R12.6 billion to services at the frontline of our response to the pandemic.

"Allocations have been informed by epidemiological modelling, a national health sector Covid‐19 cost model and our experiences over the past 100 days. This money partly supports increased screening and testing, allowing us to open up more and more of the economy," said the minister.

June 24 2020 - 15:32

Tax revenue is down

Gross tax revenue collected during the first two months of 2020/21 was R142 billion, compared to our initial forecast for the same period of R177.3 billion, said Mboweni.

"Put another way – we are already R35.3 billion behind on our2020/21 target. As a consequence, gross tax revenue for the 2020/21 fiscal year isrevised down from R1.43 trillion to R1.12 trillion.

"That means that we expect to miss our tax target for this year by over R300 billion."

June 24 2020 - 15:24

Mboweni says debt is our greatest weakness

"We have accumulated far too much debt; this downturn will add more. This year, out of every rand that we pay in tax, 21 cents goes to paying the interest on our past debts.

"This indebtedness condemns us to ever higher interest rates. If we reduce debt, we will reduce interest rates for everyone and we will unleash investment and growth.

"So today, with an eye on the future, we set out a strategy to build a bridge to recovery.

"Our Herculean task is to close the mouth of the Hippopotamus! It is eating our children’s inheritance. We need to stop it now!

"Our Herculean task is to stabilise debt," the finance minister said.

June 24 2020 - 14:54

WATCH LIVE | Finance minister Tito Mboweni delivers supplementary budget speech

Finance minister Tito Mboweni is expected to deliver the supplementary budget speech at 3pm on Wednesday, after the government’s announcement that it would spend R500bn to support the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

June 24 2020 - 14:48

Brace for 408,000 Covid-19 cases by mid-July, says modelling team

SA can expect to have detected 408,000 cases of Covid-19 by mid-July, according to the latest projection by the national modelling consortium.

The number of deaths by mid-July is expected to be 7,440 says the document outlining short-term projections, posted on the National Institute for Communicable Diseases website on Wednesday.

Scientists led by Harry Moultrie warn that the Western Cape and Eastern Cape are likely to run out of intensive-care beds in June.

June 24 2020 - 14:37

Survey raises red flag about teachers' health if exposed to Covid-19

The National Professional Teachers' Organisation of SA (Naptosa) is concerned about how many teachers with underlying health conditions are at increased risk from the coronavirus.

Its concern is based on a “health status” survey conducted last month to which 130,655 teachers, out of a total staff complement of 442,268 and belonging to various teachers' unions, responded .

At least 10% of the teacher population in all of the provinces responded to the survey. Six provinces had a response rate of more than 20%. North West had the highest response rate with 53% of teachers in the province participating.

June 24 2020 - 13:34

First South African injected for Covid-19 with trial vaccine

The first South African citizen has just taken part in an international Covid-19 vaccination trial.

Junior Mhlongo, 24, of Soweto has just been injected with, what South African medical scientists and vacinologists hope, will stop the global spread of Covid-19.

Junior Mhlongo is the first South African to be injected with a Covid-19 vaccine on June 24 2020.
Junior Mhlongo is the first South African to be injected with a Covid-19 vaccine on June 24 2020.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

June 24 2020 - 12:33

168 staff and patients infected at Gauteng mental health facilities

Gauteng health authorities are monitoring Covid-19 cases at mental health facilities across the province where 168 staff and patients have tested positive.

The affected institutions are run by the provincial health department and also contracted facilities. Two patients with underlying illnesses have died in the past nine days.  

Provincial health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the department had four specialised mental health facilities: Weskoppies, Sterkfontein, Tara H Moross Psychiatric Hospital and Cullinan Care and Rehabilitation Centre.

Residents of Kliptown in Soweto carry food donated by photojournalist Ilan Ossendryver. He says he is using the camera as a "social activist" tool. He runs the initiative with Howard Sackstein and Caron-Leah Resnick.
Residents of Kliptown in Soweto carry food donated by photojournalist Ilan Ossendryver. He says he is using the camera as a "social activist" tool. He runs the initiative with Howard Sackstein and Caron-Leah Resnick.
Image: Alon Skuy

June 24 2020 - 12:31

Workers at Durban underwear factory protest over 'unpaid' UIF

Frustrated workers at Playtex, an undergarment manufacturer in Durban, have downed tools in protest over unpaid UIF Covid-19 relief funds.

They demonstrated outside the premises on Wednesday while company bosses held a meeting with shop stewards.

“The company got the UIF money but that money has not reached workers' pockets,” one worker claimed.

June 24 2020 - 12:26

Durban Prep suspends lessons after pupil tests positive for Covid-19

Durban Preparatory High School suspended classes on Wednesday after a grade 7 pupil tested positive for Covid-19.

In a message to parents via the school's D6 communication portal, headmaster Barry Wilson said he was told on Tuesday evening by the parent of a grade 7 pupil that the youngster had tested positive.

“The learner started feeling unwell at the weekend and was taken to his doctor on Monday. He has not been at school at all this week and his results came through to his family last night,” he said.

June 24 2020 - 11:11

Elderly and disabled to move first in Covid-19 relocations in Cape Town

The elderly and the disabled will be prioritised when thousands of residents in some Western Cape informal settlements are relocated to newer communities as part of the Covid-19 de-densification process.

The department of human settlements in the Western Cape says it plans to move 1,500 Dunoon residents, with planning and designing at a nearby piece of land already in motion.

Dunoon, one of Cape Town’s overcrowded communities, is one of three townships in the Western Cape that are set for de-densification as part of social distancing amid Covid-19. The other two areas where thousands are set to be relocated from are Kosovo and Khayelitsha.  

June 11 2020 - 11:09

Pharmacy association warns against use of dexamethasone to prevent Covid-19

The elderly and the disabled will be prioritised when thousands of residents in some Western Cape informal settlements are relocated to newer communities as part of the Covid-19 de-densification process.

The department of human settlements in the Western Cape says it plans to move 1,500 Dunoon residents, with planning and designing at a nearby piece of land already in motion.

Dunoon, one of Cape Town’s overcrowded communities, is one of three townships in the Western Cape that are set for de-densification as part of social distancing amid Covid-19. The other two areas where thousands are set to be relocated from are Kosovo and Khayelitsha.  

June 24 2020 - 08:44

Government gives PSL green light to return to the field 

June 24 2020 - 08:32

Over 100 mental health patients in Gauteng institutions test positive for Covid-19

June 24 2020 - 07:44

Firms, do this now or you’ll be deep in the Popi

Be warned: the personal information protection act is here.

So, if you own a business, start working on compliance ASAP.

June 24 2020 - 07:43

HIV patients at less risk of Covid-19 than those with diabetes or hypertension: NICD

While HIV-positive people are at an increased risk of dying from Covid-19 than those who are HIV-negative, they are at significant less risk than those with other underlying illnesses.

This is according to analysis done by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in the Western Cape, which revealed that people living with HIV were at a “modestly” increased risk of dying from Covid-19, whether the virus is suppressed or not.

However, they are not at a higher risk of dying from Covid-19 than those with other underlying illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension.

June 24 2020 - 07:42

Cape Town hospital goes paperless to reduce Covid-19 transmissions

As the Western Cape approaches its Covid-19 infection peak, the province’s biggest hospital, Tygerberg, has ditched its paper-based patient folders for voice and electronic notes.

This in an effort to reduce transmission of the respiratory diseases among healthcare workers.

An ambitious digitisation project of the hospital’s Covid-19 intensive care unit will not only improve the care of seriously ill Covid-19 patients and reduce infection among healthcare workers, but the installation of cameras could potentially allow stable patients to have video calls with their families.

June 24 2020 - 07:41

SAA, jobs & Sars shortfall: Economists on expectations ahead of Mboweni's budget

As the country waits for finance minister Tito Mboweni's budget speech, economists have expressed their expectations.

Mboweni is expected to deliver the supplementary budget speech on Wednesday, following the government’s announcement that it would spend R500bn to support the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Head of Wits Business School Dr Jannie Rossouw told TimesLIVE that the government should not prioritise embattled SAA.

June 24 2020 - 07:39

Limpopo police station closed after cop tests positive for Covid-19

The Motetema police station outside Groblersdal in Limpopo was closed on Tuesday for decontamination after an officer tested positive for Covid-19.

The officer has been placed under quarantine and other members who came in close contact with the member have been isolated, police spokesperson Col Moatshe Ngoepe said.

June 24 2020 - 07:23

SA to hear economic impact of Covid-19 in Mboweni's budget speech

Finance minister will on Wednesday give South African some much needed clarity on the economic ramifications Covid-19 has had so far.

X