COVID-19 WRAP | 8,124 new cases of Covid-19 in SA

01 July 2020 - 07:34 By TimesLIVE
Wits students who are against the trialing of the Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa held demonstrations outside the university in Braamfontein on July 1 2020.
Wits students who are against the trialing of the Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa held demonstrations outside the university in Braamfontein on July 1 2020.

July 1 2020 - 21:02

Biggest daily jump as 8,124 new cases of Covid-19 recorded

SA had its biggest ever single-day increase in Covid-19 cases, with the health ministry reporting on Wednesday that 8,124 new infections were recorded in the past 24 hours.

The means there are now 159,333 cases across SA. The majority of the new cases were in Gauteng.

Also on Wednesday, KwaZulu-Natal became the four province - after the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng - to pass the 10,000 mark for confirmed infections.

July 1 2020 - 20:20

Alcohol has 'clogged' SA trauma units: Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa says trauma units have been “clogged” with patients since the lifting of the alcohol ban.

At the same time, he said, during the ban the illicit trade of alcohol led to other serious problems that were a danger to people's health.

Ramaphosa made the remarks during an event the presidency referred to as a “presidential imbizo”, where members of the public were able to interact with him via social media and a phone line.

July 1 2020 - 19:18

ConCourt denies DA bid to challenge Disaster Management Act

South Africans will have to wait longer to know whether the legislation used to impose the lockdown is constitutional, after the Constitutional Court refused to grant the DA direct access to challenge it.

The apex court on Wednesday dismissed the DA’s application for direct access to the court, saying it was not “in the interests of justice” to hear it at this stage, BusinessLIVE reported.

This now means that the DA, which has already lodged an application at the high court in this matter, will have to follow the standard route of first having the case heard in the high court.

July 1 2020 - 18:50

ANC opposes plans to retrench staff at state-owned entities: Magashule

The ANC is opposing plans by state-owned entities (SOEs) to retrench employees in view of the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Secretary-general Ace Magashule said on Wednesday afternoon that SOEs needed to be sensitive to the current conditions that South Africans found themselves in.

“In terms of the state entities and the cut-offs, we are just saying that it is a position we have adopted. We are against retrenchments and we are actually saying people must be retrained and reskilled, as opposed to them losing jobs. That is our bottom line,” he said during a post-NEC briefing.

July 1 2020 - 18:02

Principal of Eastern Cape school where 200 pupils tested positive airlifted to hospital

The principal of Makaula Senior Secondary School in KwaBhaca (formerly Mount Frere), in the Eastern Cape, is in hospital with Covid-19.

This comes after the school welcomed about 180 matric pupils back on Thursday last week. It had earlier had to shut its doors after no fewer than 204 infections were recorded. A total of 330 people at the school were tested.

Principal Luzuko Mbana, 52, received his test results on Wednesday afternoon and had to be airlifted to a private hospital in KwaZulu-Natal.

July 1 2020 - 17:40

WATCH LIVE | Cyril Ramaphosa hosts virtual imbizo with communities

President Cyril Ramaphosa will discuss the coronavirus pandemic with communities through a virtual imbizo on Wednesday evening.

In a tweet, the presidency said Ramaphosa will interact with communities across the nation through a virtual presidential imbizo. 

South Africans will be able to talk to the president about the challenges they face, as well as offer any solutions they may have.

July 1 2020 - 17:00

'Tough times' as 7 teachers, 3 pupils among 15 Covid-19 deaths in Eastern Cape schools

Three pupils, eight educators and four non-teaching staff have died of Covid-19 in the Eastern Cape's education sector, the province's education department said on Wednesday. 

Of the educators, seven were teachers and one a deputy principal.

“The Eastern Cape education department wishes to extend its heartfelt condolences to the families of those that have succumbed to Covid-19 in our province and sector,” said spokesperson Loyiso Pulumani.

July 1 2020 - 16:26

Activist who defied Thabo Mbeki by importing HIV medicine dies with Covid-19

Described by friends, colleagues and family as a soft soul who got along with everybody, HIV/Aids activist Nomandla Yako died on Sunday night in Groote Schuur hospital of renal failure as a result of being ill with Covid-19.

She was 41.

Yako lived openly with HIV and was an active member of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) in the 2000s. At the time HIV infection was effectively a death sentence for people living in townships, with little prospect of getting treatment.


July 1 2020 - 15:57

New-car sales improve in June but are still way down on 2019

New-vehicle sales in SA in June were markedly up from the previous two months as the entire motor industry resumed full operation, but the market remained under severe pressure.

Under relaxed Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the 31,867 new cars, bakkies and trucks sold last month were substantially higher than the 12,932 units sold in May, but still 30.7% down from the 45,953 vehicles sold in June last year.

With the tourism sector still under lockdown restrictions, there was virtually no contribution by the car rental industry to support the market as is normally the case at this time of the year.

July 1 2020 - 15:54

Deaths soar 4,000 above predictions as Covid-19 bares its teeth

Covid-19 has sent the number of deaths in SA “significantly higher than the predicted number based on historical data”, the Medical Research Council said on Wednesday.

The MRC's weekly report on deaths said there was an upward trend in all provinces except Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and North West.

Between May 6 (when the Covid-19 death toll was 152) and June 23 (when it was 2,102), there had been an “excess” of 4,039 deaths from natural causes, the report said.

July 1 2020 - 15:43

Covid-19 ‘uncommon’ in SA children, including those at school: NICD

A National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) report has found that Covid-19 is "uncommon" in South African children, including schoolgoing children aged five to 18.

According to the report, published on Tuesday, data from other countries suggested that the clinical presentation of Covid-19 differed in children and that they had a lower risk of severe disease compared with adults.

In contrast, the NICD had also warned that the implementation of non-pharmaceutical interventions such as using masks, physical distancing and hand washing or sanitising within schools needed to be strengthened to prevent children acquiring SARS-CoV2 infections.

July 1 2020 - 15:33

Court dismisses Mmusi Maimane's bid to keep schools closed

The high court in Pretoria on Wednesday dismissed an application by Mmusi Maimane's One South Africa Movement (OSAM) which sought to set aside the decision to move from lockdown level 4 to level 3 and to reopen schools.

Central to the application was the progression of the coronavirus pandemic in SA and the government’s response to it.

OSAM and Maimane accused the government of not doing enough to protect lives as it eased lockdown restrictions.

July 1 2020 - 15:25

Nearly 3,000 people hospitalised as Covid-19 infections rise in Gauteng

There were 36 more deaths related to Covid-19 in Gauteng in the past 24 hours, the provincial health department confirmed on Wednesday. 

The provincial death toll as of Tuesday stands at 216, said health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana.

The cumulative number of infections was 42,881, with 10,534 recoveries recorded. 

July 1 2020 - 15:13

Caught buying, selling cigarettes? You will get a criminal record: Bheki Cele

Police minister Bheki Cele says those caught buying or selling cigarettes will be prosecuted and, if found guilty, would have a criminal record.

During a parliamentary question and answer session on Tuesday, MPs asked Cele whether it was fair for individuals to receive a criminal record for buying a cigarette. He said the courts have “confirmed that you cannot buy a cigarette; it is illegal”.

“It is not just the regulations, not just the minister of co-operative governance & traditional affairs, or minister of police, it’s a full bench of a senior court in the Republic of SA. So, if people [buy or sell cigarettes], that is to commit a crime, so there must be a criminal record. You did it knowing full well that you are not supposed to,” said Cele.

July 1 2020 - 14:48

Gauteng Covid-19 cases are 42, 881

July 1 2020 - 14:32

Violent encounter between pupils and police after they demanded to be tested for Covid-19

A stand-off between pupils and teachers which has led to three days of no learning at a school in KwaMashu, Durban, has finally come to an end.

Matric pupils at Nqabakazulu High School boycotted classes on Monday demanding that they and all teachers be tested for Covid-19 after they were informed that a teacher was positive.

July 1 2020 - 14:28

Keep school pupils at home, says top Eastern Cape official

Eastern Cape superintendent-general Themba Kojana has proposed that all pupils except those in matric stay away from school until August 3.

The proposal includes sending grade 7 pupils back home until August, DispatchLIVE reported on Wednesday.  

The move is in response to increasing numbers of pupils in the Eastern Cape contracting Covid-19. Around 200 schools remain closed as a result of coronavirus infections.  

The proposal follows a virtual “bilateral” meeting between members of Bhisho's provincial executive committee (PEC) and SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) members on Saturday.     

July 1 2020 - 14:21

Dlamini-Zuma allowed to appeal ‘blanket invalidity’ of lockdown rules

Co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma can appeal against the blanket declaration of invalidity of SA’s lockdown regulations, but still has to amend some of them in the next 10 days.

Dlamini-Zuma asked the high court in Pretoria for leave to appeal a judgment by the same court which declared, with the exception of just a few, that all regulations governing levels 3 and 4 of the Covid-19 lockdown were invalid.

SA has been governed under a state of disaster since March and has been under various levels of lockdown. The regulations caused controversy as they severely limited the freedoms of citizens.

Teachers with the United Democratic Front protest in Athlone, Cape Town against the reopening of schools during the peak of Covid-19 on July 1 2020.
Teachers with the United Democratic Front protest in Athlone, Cape Town against the reopening of schools during the peak of Covid-19 on July 1 2020.

July 1 2020 - 13:54

Ramaphosa to hold virtual Imbizo, ordinary South Africans get opportunity to ask him about Covid-19 and various socio-economic challenges 

July 1 2020 - 13:51

16 police stations close in two days as Covid-19 continues to spread

At least 16 police stations have shut their doors since Monday as Covid-19 rages through the country.

According to police statements since Monday, the police stations, branches and community centres were forced to temporarily close after at least 18 members tested positive for Covid-19.

June 1 2020 - 13:34

Covid-19 tests may have fallen off bakkie, says courier company

A courier company contracted to transport Covid-19 test kits that were found alongside the N2 in the Eastern Cape has suggested the kits “fell off” the bakkie in which they were being transported.

The National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) said on Wednesday that an “initial report from the courier states the canvas cover on the bakkie had opened without the driver realising it.

“Further investigations will take place and the NHLS will take the appropriate legal action against the supplier.” 

June 1 2020 - 13:32

Road ahead will be draining, Western Cape medics warn Gauteng colleagues ahead of Covid-19 spike

Celebrate small victories. Be there for each other. Face your fears and anxieties head on. Educate yourself on fresh research about the virus.

These are some of the pointers Western Cape health-care workers can share with Gauteng front liners, who are preparing for a tough road ahead. With rapidly spreading infections, the inland province is expected to overtake the Western Cape to become the country's epicentre in days to come.

Nurses and doctors from the Western Cape say that their Gauteng colleagues will need to care for one another and offer each other support during this time.

June 1 July 2020 - 13:31

How to prepare your young child to go back to school

As primary schools and their affiliated nursery schools get ready to welcome pupils back to a wide range of grades on July 6, you’re probably feeling anxious about sending your child out into the "real world" again, and understandably so.

This can potentially be a scary time for your little one, too. They’ll be returning to a "new normal" that’s not part of their usual school routine at all: there will be masks, temperature checks, strict social distancing rules and more.

July 1 2020 - 12:30

'Our healthcare system is overwhelmed': Eastern Cape premier's SOS to Cyril Ramaphosa

Publicly admitting for the first time that the Eastern Cape health department was struggling to cope with the high number of Covid-19 cases, premier Oscar Mabuyane on Tuesday said he had asked President Cyril Ramaphosa for help.

He has requested that SA National Defence Force (SANDF) medical staff be deployed to the Eastern Cape to help fight the spread of Covid-19, DispatchLIVE reported on Wednesday.

Concerns have been raised that the province, which had been expected to reach its coronavirus peak around September, had peaked too early, with health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize warning citizens to brace for a storm.

July 1 2020 - 12:27

Harder lockdown for Gauteng 'under discussion' as Covid-19 cases surge

Various versions of lockdown are being considered by health officials as Covid-19 cases in Gauteng accelerate to the point where the province is expected to soon become the epicentre of the pandemic in SA.

The health department said the province's daily increase in infection rates could see it surpassing the Western Cape as the province with the most Covid-19  cases.

July 1 2020 - 12:24

Rising Covid-19 infections among Gauteng health workers 'a disaster': Public Servants' Association

The Public Servants' Association (PSA) on Wednesday said it would approach the inspectorate of labour to visit Gauteng health-care facilities to assess safety and health compliance amid the increasing number of health workers with Covid-19. 

This is after an “alarming” surge of infections among health workers, it said. 

Gauteng officials on Monday said health workers at both private and public hospitals made up the most Covid-19 infections in the province, with almost 2,000 having contracted the virus, EWN reported.

July 1 2020 - 12:12

Teachers in Cape Town continue to protest against reopening of schools amidst Covid-19 infection peak 

July 1 2020 - 11:36

Four more cases of Covid-19 detected at Durban old-age care homes

Four more cases of Covid-19 have been detected at two old-age care facilities run by The Association for the Aged (Tafta) in Durban.

The latest positive results brings the total number of Covid-19 cases at the residences to seven - six residents and one caregiver.

“After awaiting the results of staff and elders tested at the two affected Tafta complexes, we received news that a member of staff and three more elders have tested positive for the coronavirus,” said Femada Shamam, Tafta's CEO.

Salons across SA opened their doors for business on June 29 2020 after they were temporarily shut down back in March as a result of Covid-19.
Salons across SA opened their doors for business on June 29 2020 after they were temporarily shut down back in March as a result of Covid-19.

July 1 2020 - 11:15

How people living with disabilities can reduce their chances of contracting Covid-19

July 1 2020 - 08:43

Trains back on track as services resume 

July 1 2020

'Life is just not fair': family of Eastern Cape nurse who died of Covid-19

She died like a soldier with a gun in her hands.

That's how the brother of Sindiswa Madonci, a 58-year-old nurse at Port Elizabeth’s Livingstone Hospital, remembers his sister, who died of Covid-19 earlier this month.

Masixole Zinto said life will “never be the same” and the family was devastated by her death.

Zinto believes his sister contracted the virus at work as none of her family members have tested positive.

July 1 2020 - 07:34

Will SA have to go back to level 5?

Based on the skyrocketing numbers of Covid-19 infections in SA will government's hand be forced into reinstituting level 5?

Two more SA kids die. Should we be worried?


July 1 2020 - 07:23

Two children have died from Covid-19 since Friday. That's 10 kids so far.

We're told the virus isn't dangerous for them, so we asked the experts.

Not being able to say goodbye to loving mom and granny leaves family of Covid-19 victim reeling

The family of Nomihlali Mkayi, who died on May 11 in the Northern Cape shortly after arriving from her home in the Eastern Cape, is still reeling after her death.

The 61-year-old teacher had visited the Eastern Cape during the lockdown. The family is not sure how and where she contracted the coronavirus. The mother of five was a teacher in the Northern Cape.

Her sister, Nomasummer Mcuba, described Mkayi as a loving mother and grandmother, a responsible, humble sister to her sibling, and a kind person who was always ready to help everyone, not just her family members.