COVID-19 WRAP | SA's front-line nurses are suffering severe psychological distress: survey

07 August 2020 - 06:45 By TimesLIVE
Undertakers of Sopema Funerals chat after loading the body of a deceased person into a hearse ahead of the funeral service, amid a nationwide coronavirus disease (Covid-19) lockdown, in Soweto, south-west of Johannesburg, South Africa August 4, 2020.
Undertakers of Sopema Funerals chat after loading the body of a deceased person into a hearse ahead of the funeral service, amid a nationwide coronavirus disease (Covid-19) lockdown, in Soweto, south-west of Johannesburg, South Africa August 4, 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

August 07 2020 - 22:38

SA records 9,909 Covid-19 related deaths

SA has recorded 9,909 Covid-19 related fatalities since the first case was detected in the country on March 5.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Friday evening that the cumulative number of infections had increased to 545,476. There were 305 deaths over the past 24 hours and 7,292 new cases were identified.

The number of recoveries is 394,759, translating to a recovery rate of 72%.

August 07 2020 - 17:32

'Petty politicking' DA MP rapped over knuckles for 'field hospital mix-up'

The national health department has dismissed claims by a DA MP about a field hospital not being operational in the North West and demanded an apology.

“The ministry became aware of a tweet posted by the DA’s Ms Siviwe Gwarube, where she accused the minister of health, Dr Zwelini Mkhize, of lying about the status of Maseve field hospital in the North West and alleged it was still an empty field,” said national health spokesperson Lwazi Manzi.

Despite being corrected by a senior official from the health department, who is an administrator at the North West health department, Gwarube persisted with her allegations and “preposterously” changed her story to suit her narrative and “cheap” political agenda, said the department.

August 07 2020 - 16:53

SIU opens criminal cases against companies in Gauteng tender probe

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has opened criminal cases against three companies linked to alleged Covid-19 tender irregularities in Gauteng.

The latest development in the unfolding tender scandal was confirmed on Friday by SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

“The SIU has opened cases against three companies,” he said.

August 07 2020 - 16:10

Journalist's microphone ignites laughter at court's tobacco hearing

It was not all decorum and legal jargon in the high court this week during British American Tobacco SA’s (Batsa) fight to unban cigarette sales.

On the second day of the bruising legal battle — involving thousands of pages of court papers —  between Batsa and co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Thursday, there was a brief lighter moment.

Judge Thandazwa Ndita, one of the three judges who heard the matter in the high court in Cape Town, was spooked by a microphone placed on their desk by a journalist during a break.

August 07 2020 - 15:29

Health minister meets KZN traditional leaders over Covid-19 concerns

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu is concerned about the Amajuba district, in the province's interior, which has recorded an increase of about 3,000 Covid-19 cases in the past seven days.

The MEC and health minister Zweli Mkhize visited Niemeyer Hospital in Utrecht and Madadeni Hospital in Newcastle on Friday as part of Mkhize's two-day oversight visit to the province as it prepares to hit its peak in cases.

“As of today we are just above 5,000 cases which is very concerning because seven days ago we were only on 2,000 as a district, so it tells you that we are growing at a very high speed,” Simelane-Zulu said.

August 07 2020 - 13:51

SA's front-line nurses are suffering severe psychological distress: survey

SA's front-line nurses are suffering psychological distress and a lack of confidence in their knowledge about Covid-19, and are worried about infecting their families.

These are some of the findings from a Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and University of KwaZulu-Natal Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine national survey of 7,607 health-care professionals, including nurses and medical practitioners.

Conducted between April and May, the survey aimed to determine the physical and emotional effects Covid-19 has had on the country's health fraternity in state and private hospitals.

August 07 2020 - 13:23

Matric pupils' attendance at Gauteng, Mpumalanga schools 'pleasing'

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said on Friday he was pleased with the turnout of matric pupils in the first week back after a break in schooling.

He said attendance was 76% by Wednesday.

During the provincial Covid-19 command centre update, Lesufi said he was concerned about matric pupils who had not returned to school.

August 07 2020 - 12:01

Gauteng premier David Makhura orders lifestyle audits on his 10 MECs

Gauteng premier David Makhura has announced that the State Security Agency will be doing lifestyle audits on all cabinet members of his government.

This comes amid allegations of tender irregularities at the provincial department of health which have implicated MEC Bandile Masuku.

Addressing the media on Friday, Makhura said his government had been thinking about the right state institution to choose since he made a public commitment to introduce lifestyle audits at the start of his second term last year.

August 07 2020 - 11:57

Three things need to change before booze and tobacco sales can be allowed: Zweli Mkhize

Another day, another reason — or at least three — why the bans on alcohol and cigarette sales should remain in place.  

On Thursday, health minister Zweli Mkhize said the country was not ready to lift the restrictions on alcohol and tobacco..

Mkhize is on a two-day tour in KwaZulu-Natal, visiting health-care facilities ahead of what is expected to be a peak in Covid-19 cases in the weeks to come.

August 07 2020 - 11:30

Do not to allow fear or politics to harm SA's children - Paediatricians on school closure

As schools prepare to welcome back grade 7 pupils next week, the Paediatrician Management Group (PMG) and the SA Paediatric Association (Sapa) have urged government to open schools to all pupils, and not to allow fear or politics to harm children in the country.

Grade 7 pupils are set to return to school on Tuesday, a week after grade 12 pupils returned after a one-week break. Other grades are set to reopen on August 24.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the break following demands from teacher unions and some parents for schools to be closed during the peak of Covid-19 infections.

August 07 2020 - 10:03

SIU fingers two Gauteng health officials in Covid-19 corruption 

Gauteng premier David Makhura revealed on Friday the Special Investigating Unit has fingered two officials from the provincial department of health in the Covid-19 tender scandal.

He said one has resigned while the other has been suspended.

Makhura also revealed that 5,242 of the 172,113 public servants in the province have tested positive for Covid-19. 

August 07 2020 - 08:54

Hanover Park’s joggers - keeping spirits up during the Covid-19 pandemic

It is 8am on a Saturday morning, and a group of about 35 runners are going round an 800m circuit.

One family is pushing a pram. There are a few children and some elderly people in the group, dressed in fitness attire – a regular enough sight in places like Rondebosch Common or the Sea Point Promenade, but this is Hanover Park on the Cape Flats.

August 07 2020 - 08:00

WATCH | SA therapist warns of 'loss of identity' as many experience 'corona-coaster'

The Covid-19 pandemic is a major threat to physical health, but it has also become a significant challenge for mental health. The pandemic and lockdown have many negative consequences, including intense short and long-term effects on people's health globally.

August 07 2020 - 08:00

'We're doing 20-something funerals a day': Small parlours pushed to the limit by Covid-19

“Prior to Covid, we used to have an average of 35 to 45 funerals a week. Last week alone we did 105. We are averaging about 20-something funerals a day.”

August 07 2020 - 07:30

EXPLAINER | Bloem man reveals strain of arranging Covid-19 funeral

Mark Steenbok's dad died of Covid-19 over the weekend — he explains what it takes to arrange a funeral in the midst of a global pandemic

August 07 2020 - 07:00

Coffin makers struggle to get a handle on rising demand

'We were not prepared for this — not even the government was'

August 07 2020 - 06:45

These children in Bhutan, Kenya and Iran are doing their best to learn from home, even without access to a computer or...

Posted by UNICEF on Thursday, August 6, 2020

August 07 2020 - 06:43

Guided and walking tours under lockdown level 3: what you need to know

Guided tours and walking tours during level 3 lockdown are now fully legal.

On Thursday, tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane gazetted the new regulations, which now allow for two to share a room when travelling for leisure purposes.

August 07 2020 - 06:30

'There is not a day that we are quiet': funeral parlours on soaring death rate

Gauteng mortuary workers say they are 'worked off their feet' as bodies pile up

August 07 2020 - 06:00

'Our ancestors will be furious': Covid-19 changes burial practices

Funerals are simply not the same any more, as the coronavirus upsets funeral rites across the country. Families are simply unable to honour and bid farewell to loved ones as they once did.

Covid-19 related deaths have denied many families the opportunity to cleanse and dress the corpse at the mortuary, according to Mthandazo Khumalo, spokesperson for the Traditional Healers Organisation.

August 07 2020 - 05:00

WATCH | health care workers at Joburg hospital get down to 'Jerusalema'

A video of health care workers and staff from Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital in Johannesburg dancing to the global hit Jerusalema by Master KG has helped many escape the harsh realities brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.