COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Covid-19 claims the lives of four teachers and security guard in KZN

05 July 2020 - 06:56 By TimesLIVE
Shankar Kurhade wears his face mask made out of gold as he poses for a photograph amid the spread of Covid-19 in Pune, India, on July 4 2020. Kurhade claims the mask weighs 50 grams and costs around $3,870 (R65,720).
Shankar Kurhade wears his face mask made out of gold as he poses for a photograph amid the spread of Covid-19 in Pune, India, on July 4 2020. Kurhade claims the mask weighs 50 grams and costs around $3,870 (R65,720).
Image: REUTERS/Stringer

July 5 2020 - 20:54

Covid-19 infections rise to 196,750 in SA

South Africa's Covid-19 infections climbed to 196,750 on Sunday as grade 6, 11 and some grade R pupils prepared to return to schools across the country.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said in a statement that there had been 8,773 new infections over the past 24-hour cycle.

The national death toll is now 3,199.

July 5 2020 - 16:53

SA school nutrition programme has resumed: Motshekga

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga says the school nutrition programme has resumed for grade 12 and 7 pupils in all provinces.

“Now we have even expanded feeding to learners who are not yet back in schools. Plans are in place to provide feeding to learners not yet in school using different options, including staggered feeding at school, cooked food collected at school, food parcels collected at school, parcels collected at collection point other than school,” Motshekga said during a briefing on Sunday.

This comes after the department of education was dragged to court by Equal Education over its failure to roll out the nutrition programme in schools.

July 5 2020 - 16:33

Covid-19 has infected 2,740 teachers since return to school: Motshekga

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said on Sunday that less than one percent of the country's teachers had been infected by the coronavirus since the return of grade 7 and 12 pupils on June 8.

That translated to 2,740 infected teachers out of about 440,000 teachers in SA.

During the same period, 1,260 pupils had been infected by the virus, about 0.01% of pupils in total.

July 5 2020 - 16:18

Covid-19 claims the lives of four teachers and security guard in KZN

Four teachers and a security guard have died as a result of Covid-19 in KwaZulu-Natal.

Premier Sihle Zikalala, during an update on the pandemic on Sunday, said: “We are saddened to announce that five of employees from the department of education have succumbed to Covid-19.

“They are two teachers from Zululand, one teacher from Umzinyathi, one teacher from Umlazi and a security guard from iLembe,” said the premier.

July 5 2020 - 16:02

WATCH LIVE | Angie Motshekga gives update on the return of remaining grades to school

Minister of basic education Angie Motshekga is due to brief the media on the progress in the basic education sector since the reopening of schools in the Covid-19 environment.

Motshekga will also elaborate on the revised plan regarding the return of other grades to school.

July 5 2020 - 14:54

SANDF nurses, doctors arrive in Eastern Cape to bolster Covid-19 fight

The defence force has deployed 52 health care workers to the Eastern Cape.

They were deployed after Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane admitted last week that the province was overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases and needed reinforcements, reports HeraldLIVE.

SA Military Health Services head Zola Dabula confirmed that the deployment was a direct result of the premier’s request, saying the military was always on standby.


July 5 2020 - 12:10

Top Egyptian actor Ragaa al-Geddawy dies from Covid-19

Famed Egyptian actor Ragaa al-Geddawy died on Sunday after contracting Covid-19, the actors union said. She was 81.

"Ragaa al-Geddawy passed away this morning due to Covid-19," union head Ashraf Zaki told AFP. "No public funeral was arranged for health reasons."

Geddawy tested positive for the illness caused by the novel coronavirus in late May and was treated in isolation at a hospital in Ismailia province, some 130 kilometres east of Cairo, local media reported.

She had recently finished filming for her latest TV series "Laabet El Nesyan" (Oblivion Game), which aired during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

A veteran actor, Geddawy boasted a lengthy and varied career during which she gained fame across the Arab world. Geddawy started out as a model before taking on acting roles from the late 1950s, including her first film "Ghariba" (The Stranger) in 1958. She went on to act in more than 380 films, plays and television shows alongside some of the biggest names in Egyptian cinema.

Egypt's health ministry has tallied 74,035 Covid-19 cases including 3,280 deaths since recording its first infections.


July 5 2020 - 11:44

21-year-old becomes youngest person to die from Covid-19 in Zimbabwe

The youngest person to die of Covid-19 in Zimbabwe is a 21-year-old woman from Harare with no underlying medical issues or history of travel.

This was revealed by the ministry of health and child care as the country registered 73 cases in one day on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 698 of which 509 are active. There have been 181 recoveries and eight deaths.

Fifty-five of the cases reported were of returnees from SA, three from Botswana, three from Mozambique and two from the US. There have been eight locally-transmitted cases.

July 5 2020 - 11:34

Mainland China reports eight new coronavirus cases, two in Beijing

China recorded eight new coronavirus cases for July 4, up from three a day earlier, the national health authority said on Sunday, while city officials in Beijing said nearly all the cases in a recent outbreak in the capital were mild.

Of the new cases, six were imported and two were in Beijing, which has been scrambling to quash an outbreak traced to a massive wholesale market in the city early last month.

In Beijing, 47% of the 334 confirmed cases since June 11 were staff at the Xinfadi market, Pang Xinghuo, a senior Beijing disease control official, told a media briefing on Sunday. Of all the cases in the city since then, 98% were "mild and normal," she said.

Also on Sunday, China reported seven new asymptomatic patients, up from four a day earlier.

As of Saturday, mainland China had 83,553 confirmed Covid-19 cases, the health authority said. China's death toll from the coronavirus remained 4,634, unchanged since Mid-May.

- Reuters

July 5 2020 - 11:11

Why basic education minister made U-turn on return to class

The basic education department has admitted that it drastically cut the number of pupils returning to class tomorrow because the experience of the past month showed schools would be overwhelmed.

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga announced on Thursday that only grades R, 6 and 11 will return tomorrow. According to the Government Gazette of June 29, grades 1, 2, 3 and 10 had also been scheduled to return.

The department's spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga, told the Sunday Times yesterday that it took a little longer for work to be done in schools when processing learners for compliance with safety requirements.

July 5 2020 - 10:02

Russia's coronavirus cases surpass 680,000

Russia on Sunday reported 6,736 new cases of Covid-19, raising the nationwide tally to 681,251.

The authorities said that 134 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 10,161.

- Reuters

July 5 2020 - 09:55

Lindiwe Zulu blames cheats for R350 Covid-19 relief grant delay

Government employees and social grant recipients made up some of the 7.4-million applications for the R350 Covid-19 relief grant — clogging the system and causing payment delays to deserving applicants.

This is according to social development minister Lindiwe Zulu in an interview with the Sunday Times. She said government employees who tried to fraudulently benefit should be charged.

July 5 2020 - 09:34

Covid-19 sours July 4 celebrations in US as Mexico cases soar

A surge in coronavirus cases sapped the fun out of July 4 celebrations in the US as the pandemic also accelerated through neighbouring Mexico, the rest of Latin America and South Africa.

Even Europe, which has largely been celebrating reopening, saw some setbacks, with authorities placing 200,000 people back under lockdown in Spain after a spike in infections that underlined how easily hard-won progress can be reversed.

The US remains by far the world's hardest-hit country, logging a further 43,000 cases on Saturday that brought its total number of infections to more than 2.8-million, with nearly 130,000 deaths.

The spiraling caseload cast a pall over traditional Independence Day celebrations, with beaches closed and the National Mall in Washington, usually crowded with spectators ready for fireworks, near deserted.

Main Street parades were cancelled, boisterous backyard barbecues scaled down and family reunions put off.

Despite the somber mood, President Donald Trump insisted the end was in sight in the fight against Covid-19.


July 5 2020 - 08:41

SANDF medics to help as Eastern Cape struggles to cope with Covid-19 surge

Getting tested for Covid-19 at Livingstone Hospital in Nelson Mandela Bay could take at least two days of queueing from as early as 5am — and even that is no guarantee you will be helped as the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) mobile clinic can test only 80 people a day.

The 80 people due to be tested on Friday, when the Sunday Times visited the site, had registered at least two days before. Those in the long queue of people turned away were advised to register at the Korsten Health Centre on Monday in the hope of getting tested on Tuesday.

July 5 2020 - 08:38

July 5 2020 - 07:41

Ghana president self-isolates despite negative Covid-19 test

Ghana's president has gone into self-isolation for two weeks as a precautionary measure despite testing negative for Covid-19, the government said, after one of his contacts was confirmed to have the illness.

President Nana Akufo-Addo began his quarantine on Saturday and will be working from the presidential villa in Accra, capital of the West African country, the information minister said in a statement.

July 5 2020 - 06:52

Gauteng Covid-19 SOS: province pleads for hard lockdown regulations to curb surge

The Gauteng government wants the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to allow it to reintroduce hard lockdown regulations in an attempt to curb soaring Covid-19 numbers in the province.

If approved, the move could see SA's economic powerhouse being shut down for up to two weeks at a time.

"Nobody goes to work and no-one moves. Then the economy opens up again for a particular period of time and then it closes again. So at least there is predictability and you can control infections in that way," health MEC Bandile Masuku said yesterday.

July 5 2020 - 06:37

Probe called into R4.8m Covid info campaign

Over four days in May, while SA was in a strict level 4 lockdown, community workers embarked on a door-to-door Covid-19 awareness campaign in the Eastern Cape.

The company contracted by the OR Tambo district municipality to carry out the campaign invoiced R4.8m for the job, claiming its employees had spoken to 6,400 people.

Yet many of those listed on the community workers’ forms as having been visited told the Sunday Times no one has ever knocked on their door to give them information on Covid-19.

July 5 2020 - 00:09

SA hits 3,026 Covid-19 deaths as cases pass 10,000 in one day for first time

SA recorded its 3,026th Covid-19 fatality on Saturday, just 99 days after the first death was reported in the country on March 27.

There were also more than 10,000 cases in a single day for the first time. Gauteng accounted for more than 5,000 of these cases.