COVID-19 WRAP | WHO offers to provide technical support to SA as Covid infections rise
July 19 2020 - 21:11
Rise in SA's Covid-19 cases continues as Mkhize appeals to nation not to let guard down
A cumulative total of 364,328 confirmed Covid-19 cases in SA have been recorded, with 13,449 new cases identified, the health ministry said on Sunday night.
85 new deaths were registered, bringing the number of cumulative fatalities to 5,033 (4,948 on Saturday).
The number of recoveries currently stands at 191,059. On Saturday, the department said recoveries totalled 182,230, which translated to a recovery rate of 52%.
July 19 2020 - 17:25
ANC MP Martha Mmola dies of Covid-related illness
ANC MP Martha Mmola died on Saturday due to a Covid-19 related illness.
This was disclosed by parliament’s presiding officers, National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo.
Mmola served as a permanent delegate to the National Council of Provinces for the ANC, representing the Mpumalanga province.
July 19 2020 - 16:16
KZN records 19,706 new Covid infections in a week
A total of 12 health workers have died in KwaZulu-Natal due to Covid-19.
This was revealed by KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala during a briefing on the province's latest Covid-19 numbers on Sunday.
Of the province's 40,045 cases, 1,557 are health care workers, 60% of them nurses.
July 19 2020 - 16:01
East London's popular Mandela lookalike loses Covid-19 fight
Prominent Eastern Cape community activist and Nelson Mandela lookalike Ayanda Mbatyothi, 46, has succumbed to a Covid-19 related illness, his wife Noludwe Kanandawo confirmed.
He was popularly known as the “Young Madiba” across the country.
She said: “He was sick two weeks ago and was sent to a doctor who referred him to Frere Hospital. He had also tested positive for the coronavirus and also had an underlying condition.”
July 19 2020 - 15:52
WHO offers to provide technical support to SA as Covid infections rise
The World Health Organisation in Africa’s growing concern for SA’s rapidly increasing infection rate of Covid-19 has forced it to offer to provide technical support to help curb the spread of the respiratory disease.
In an interview this week, the international organisation's Dr Richard Mihigo said that the offer had been made in light of the surge of infections in SA, which accounts for the largest number of infections on the continent.
As of Friday, SA accounted for 324,000 of the continent's 664,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, putting it at number 6 in the world. On Saturday, the number of new Covid-19 infections tracked in SA over the previous 24 hours was 13,285. This meant SA had the 5th-highest number of cases worldwide, according to statistics on Worldometers. This brought the cumulative number of infections to 350,879.
July 19 2020 - 14:50
Expatriates now allowed to self-isolate on return from abroad, says NGO
AfriForum says it welcomes regulations that have been published in the Government Gazette which stipulate that people returning to SA from abroad may self-isolate for a fixed period.
The organisation says this means its struggle of four months against compulsory quarantine in state facilities has finally borne fruit.
In one of the cases in May brought by AfriForum, the high court in Pretoria ruled that the Zithabiseni quarantine camp near Groblersdal — where more than a 100 people were kept in quarantine in unhygienic conditions — should be closed immediately.
July 19 2020 - 14:46
SA's legendary casting queen Moonyeenn Lee dies from Covid-19 complications
SA casting director and agent Moonyeenn Lee has died in Johannesburg due to complications caused by the coronavirus, her company announced on Sunday.
Lee, who was born in Johannesburg in 1944, died on Saturday.
“Moonyeenn helped shape the lives of many actors, directors and writers through her fierce honesty and passion. The SA film industry has lost an icon and a formidable champion of the arts. She will be sorely missed by us all,” Moonyeenn Lee Associates (MLA SA) said in a statement.
July 19 2020 - 14:06
DA to decide whether to continue with online elective congress amid coronavirus pandemic
The DA next weekend is due to decide whether to continue with its online elective congress amid the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
In May, the party’s federal council — the highest decision-making body of the DA between conferences — passed a decision for an online conference to be held later this year. But there were reservations by some in the party that a virtual conference might disadvantage those in areas with poor access to technology.
Mbali Ntuli, who is running for the position of party leader, opposed the idea, raising her fears that the congress may not be credible, free and fair.
July 19 2020 - 08:32
SA artisanal cheesery hopes virus will boost Slow Food
Cheddar-making was put on hold when coronavirus struck an artisanal cheesery on the outskirts of Clarens, a town tucked into the foothills of the Maluti mountains of central South Africa.
Hard cheeses requiring months of ripening were no longer viable, and the small business battled to stay afloat as sales plummeted.
Cheesemaker Marietjie Crowther only managed to produce small amounts of her signature smoked mozzarella and chilli-infused "string cheese".
July 19 2020 - 07:52
Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 14.3 million, death toll at 600,497
More than 14.3 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 600,497 have died from COVID-19, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
July 19 2020 - 07:50
Teachers plead for 'new timetable' as Covid-19 infections spike
Schools must be closed immediately, including matric classes, and only reopen at the end of next month once Covid-19 infections have peaked, say SA's five teacher unions.
A resolution by the unions to this effect was included in a document basic education minister Angie Motshekga took to yesterday's meeting with the education MECs of the nine provinces.
The unions say matrics should return on August 17 and that "different modes [of teaching] to assist them while they are at home" should be prioritised. Other grades should return at the end of August, subject to a review based on the development of the virus.