COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Solidarity fund gives R405m for 'critical medical equipment'

10 July 2020 - 07:38 By TimesLIVE
Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku toured the Tshwane District Hospital, a facility for the treatment of Covid-19 patients on July 10 2020.
Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and Gauteng Health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku toured the Tshwane District Hospital, a facility for the treatment of Covid-19 patients on July 10 2020.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

July 10 2020 - 20:51

SA passes 250,000 Covid-19 cases with 12,000 new infections

SA has recorded 12,348 cases of Covid-19 and 140 deaths in the past 24 hours.

According to the health ministry, there are now 250,687 cases of Covid-19 across the country and 3,860 fatalities. There are also a reported 118,232 recoveries.

Gauteng is the country's epicentre with 87,033 deaths, of which 5,487 were reported in the past 24-hour cycle. The Western Cape has 76,067 infections, the Eastern Cape has 46,284 and KwaZulu-Natal has 21,386.

July 10 2020 - 19:26

Number of Covid-19 patients in Western Cape hospitals stabilises

The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised in the Western Cape has stabilised, the provincial government said on Friday.

“The province currently has 1,680 people in hospital, with 322 of these in intensive care or high care,” said a statement issued by premier Alan Winde's office.

Hospitalisations peaked at 1,887 on July 4. Patients in ICU or high care peaked at 328 on the same day, and now number 322.

July 10 2020 - 17:01

How to keep children safe during lockdown

Wearing face masks, practising social distancing and frequently washing your hands — these are some of the ways you can help your children adapt to the new reality.

Aline Hall, a clinical quality specialist at Mediclinic, says to keep children safe during a pandemic, communication is vital.

“Teaching your children why it’s so important to wash their hands, for example, or why they need to wear and look after their masks at all times, starts with explaining how this virus spreads from person to person and gets into your body.

July 10 2020 - 16:42

A tsunami of job losses and hospitals under siege - five stark warnings

SA has surpassed the 200,000 mark of Covid-19 cases since the country confirmed its first case on March 5.

During the past three months, national and provincial health officials have been issuing warnings, urging members of the public to stay safe and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Here are five times SA was urged to keep safe amid the Covid-19 pandemic:

July 10 2020 - 16:27

Seven children have died of Covid-19 in Gauteng in just a week

Seven children younger than nine have died of Covid-19 in Gauteng since last week, health MEC Dr Bandile Masuku confirmed on Friday.

This comes as the province became the epicentre of the virus in the country on Wednesday. By Thursday, the province had recorded 81,546 confirmed cases, 515 deaths and 23,804 recoveries.

Masuku said 3,006 Covid-19 patients had been admitted to various hospitals. Of these, 197 are being ventilated and 551 are on oxygen support.

July 10 2020 - 16:22

Solidarity fund gives R405m for 'critical medical equipment'

The Covid-19 solidarity fund has set aside a further R405m for “critical health-care equipment” in public hospitals in Gauteng, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.

Gauteng on Wednesday was confirmed as the official Covid-19 epicentre in SA, overtaking the Western Cape. The Eastern Cape is third.

Among the equipment that will be bought are hospital beds, ventilators and high-flow oxygen devices.

July 10 2020 - 15:39

Extra hospital beds, nurses for Gauteng: Zweli Mkhize

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says his department is enabling the provision of additional hospital beds, nurses and oxygen points in Gauteng as Covid-19 admissions surge.

The provincial government on Friday said the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Gauteng stands at 81,546, with 26,438 recoveries and 515 deaths. The last time fatalities were made public was on Wednesday, when there were 478 deaths.

A total of 3,006 people are now hospitalised in public and private facilities in Gauteng — an increase of 314 cases from data released on Thursday.

July 10 2020 - 15:25

How to prepare for isolation or hospital if you contract Covid-19

South Africans should have a household contingency plan and cover their bases in case they contract Covid-19, an expert has said.

This has become urgent, with thousands of new Covid-19 infections occurring daily and the possibility of contracting the virus likely to increase over the next few months.

Geraldine Bartlett, chief professional officer at Universal Healthcare, said it was worth doing “scenario planning” and considering what needed to be in place should a family member contract the infection.

July 10 2020 - 15:08

Lobby group welcomes watchdog's stance on business interruption claims

Insurance Claims Africa has welcomed the Financial Sector Conduct Authority's pronouncement that the lockdown cannot be used to reject insurance claims.

The authority on Thursday expressed concern about the behaviour of some insurers who are deliberately avoiding paying business interruption claims where no grounds exist to do so.

Insurance Claims Africa — a specialist public loss adjustment company representing more than 500 businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector in their battle to get large insurers to pay out on Covid-19 business interruption insurance claims  — said the authority's pronouncement was a step in the right direction.

July 10 2020 - 14:43

Family of fallen KZN ANC official refute claims of 'lockdown party' linked to his death

The family of the late ANC KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson and former KwaDukuza mayor, Ricardo Methembu, have refuted claims that he had attended a surprise birthday party shortly before contracting Covid-19, which he died from on Wednesday.

In a statement on Friday, Mthembu's family said they had noted with sadness and disbelief the sensational claims relating to a video which has been circulating on social media.

It was alleged that the video was of a surprise party thrown for Mthembu and that it showed a number of people chanting and dancing without practising any social distancing or wearing masks.  

However, the family said the video was old, and that the fact that it was linked to Mthembu's death despite him not being in the video, was highly disturbing.

July 10 2020 - 14:22

Gauteng government gives update on Covid-19 response 

July 10 2020 - 13:42

Angie Motshekga's team to take on those 'hellbent on disrupting schools'

The Council of Education Ministers (CEM), led by basic education minister Angie Motshekga, on Friday condemned ongoing attempts by political and civic organisations to disrupt learning at some schools around the country. 

In a statement after its meeting on Friday, the council said on the whole it was satisfied with the return to school of several grades of pupils.

"Many schools have made a concerted effort to prepare adequate sanitation, health and safety measures to welcome back the pupils."

July 10 2020 - 13:33

East London man, 90, recovers from Covid-19, thanks nurses for their sacrifice

A 90-year-old East London man has recovered from Covid-19 — and gives full credit to the nurses who cared for him during his ordeal.

Kenneth Murdoch has lived happily at Fairlands Home for the Aged for more than 20 years, but never thought his later years would be upended by a pandemic.  

Speaking to DispatchLIVE on Thursday, he said he tested at the beginning of June and the results came back positive.

July 10 2020 - 12:27

'Gauteng being the province with highest virus cases, is not surprising': Mkhize

July 10 2020 - 12:21

SA vaccine trial shocked by how many people already had Covid-19

Almost a fifth of the 474 South Africans screened for SA’s Covid-19 vaccination trial were excluded from participation due to underlying conditions, including untreated hypertension, a lead researcher told Times Select.

Sub-investigator Clare Cutland said of that number, 202 had been enrolled in the trial and vaccinated to date.

She said 35 of the 162 patients enrolled by Monday (21%) tested positive for Covid-19 before receiving the vaccine.

July 10 2020 - 11:43

Rulani Mokwena reports for Sundowns training in Rustenburg

Rulani Mokwena has arrived at Mamelodi Sundowns’ mini-training camp at the Royal Marang Hotel in Rustenburg to start his second spell at the club.

The Brazilians confirmed Mokwena’s sensational return to Chloorkop this week where he took his first steps into professional coaching under Pitso Mosimane after impressing in the junior structures.

Mokwena has resumed his post as assistant coach, joining the highly experienced Sundowns coaching team led by Mosimane. He will be the second assistant after Manqoba Mngqithi while Wendell Robinson remains the goalkeeper coach.

July 10 2020 - 11:20

WATCH | KZN woman urges people to stay home as Covid-19 continues to surge

A video of a KwaZulu-Natal woman urging people to stay home as Covid-19 cases continue to surge has gone viral on Instagram.

In the video, the woman with the handle Melly.k_style pays tribute to frontline health- care workers who have dedicated their time to fighting the pandemic in the province.

She holds up placards on which are written “brave is beautiful”, “we are afraid” and “the ICU beds are almost at 100% capacity”. 

July 10 2020 - 10:33

Gauteng premier David Makhura tests positive for Covid-19

July 10 2020 - 10:20

Zweli Mkhize in Tshwane to assess preparedness for virus surge

July 10 2020 - 09:31

WATCH | Cele gives update on SAPS Covid-19 response

July 10 2020 - 08:51

Here's where Moonchild Sanelly plans to 'hibernate' once lockdown is done

For the fun and fearless musician Moonchild Sanelly, the lockdown has meant the cancelling of many of her international shows.

The silver lining, however, has been the ability to be still and work on her album.

While this is a challenging time to release new music, she believes it is also advantageous since most people are now online while everything is happening virtually.

Her latest single, Bashiri, which she had been working on since August last year, has been released through Transgressive Records' South African partner, the Gallo Record Company.

July 10 2020 - 08:48

L'vovo calls on Thulas Nxesi to help South Africans 'worried about jobs'

Musician L'vovo Derrango has called on minister of employment and labour Thulas Nxesi to take the nation into his confidence after news of mass retrenchments and pay cuts in several industries.

Sowetan reported this week that Massmart Holdings Ltd had started talks with unions to cut up to 1,800 jobs at Game stores across the country, citing a reduction in consumer spending and the Covid-19 pandemic as factors in its decision.

July 10 2020 - 08:45

Pregnant women can pass Covid-19 to their unborn babies — new study

The evidence that pregnant women may pass the Covid-19 virus to their unborn babies is gaining momentum, with a new Italian study confirming the vertical in utero transmission.

According to the University of Milan's research, which was presented at the online 23rd International Aids Conference this week, placenta specimens from two women of 31 surveyed and their babies' umbilical cords showed that there was presence of the virus, which caused inflammatory response in placenta and plasma. The two babies didn't get ill from the virus.

Lead researcher Claudio Fenizia who presented the results of the study on Thursday, said though the results are preliminary, they did prove vertical transmission. “These two cases both have had positive placentas and the two babies were positive upon delivery. Overall through our study we believe that vertical transmission during pregnancy is possible,” he said.

July 10 2020 - 08:41

Shock stats: Gauteng Covid-19 cases surge 283% in two weeks

All eyes are on Gauteng as it sees a dramatic rise in the number of Covid-19 infections, becoming the country's epicentre for this virus.

In just two weeks, the number of infections has increased by a staggering 283%.

July 10 2020 - 07:24

Have you bought a sanitiser that doesn't meet standards? Here's how to tell

TimesLIVE revealed that Sci-Corp Laboratories found some hand sanitisers being sold in SA or used at store entrances do not meet the recommended requirements.

But how do you know if you are getting conned or should turn down the spray as you enter a store?

July 10 2020 - 07:30

Lockdown has changed the way we shop, report finds

South Africans are in the main still shopping during the day, showing persistent change in retail behaviour even though lockdown regulations have been relaxed.

Before lockdown, shopping was typically done in the evening.

This is according to a recent report by vehicle recovery and fleet management company, Netstar.

For instance, the time of day at which drivers choose to do their shopping has shifted towards noon hours, with a drop-off, generally, seen from 4pm.

July 10 2020 - 07:31

‘Bodies are piling up’: E Cape funeral parlours plead for help

Funeral parlours in the Eastern Cape are struggling to cope with the influx of Covid-19 corpses.

They blame the burial backlog on a delay in issuing death certificates, but home affairs denies this.

July 10 2020 - 07:32

Ignoring the coronavirus to play football

Life in Ezimbawuleni, Mpumalanga, is quiet. The village, also known as Mafufumbe, is hidden in pine woods and mountains stretching far into the distance. Houses are far apart — social distancing long before it was a thing.

Sunshine is golden in the dry grassland. On Saturday June 20, the dust was thick in the air as a football tournament was held despite the country being under level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown. In alert level 3, contact sports are prohibited. However, six local amateur football clubs battled it out in Ezimbawuleni, in a tournament where each team paid R500 to participate.

Because of lockdown restrictions, the tournament is not played at eMpuluzi, where there are better facilities and a more accessible stadium. Instead, they play on a dusty field hidden from law enforcement officials and prying eyes, in a province with 2,528 confirmed Covid-19 infections and 22 recorded deaths, at the time of publication.