COVID-19 WRAP | Western Cape gears up for overseas flights & SA's jarring ride through five lockdown levels

17 September 2020 - 08:00 By TimesLIVE
A health worker wearing a protective suit and a face mask prepares to administer a nasal swab to a patient at a testing site for the coronavirus disease in front of the city hall in Paris, France.
A health worker wearing a protective suit and a face mask prepares to administer a nasal swab to a patient at a testing site for the coronavirus disease in front of the city hall in Paris, France.
Image: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

September 17 2020 - 19:26

Western Cape gears up for overseas flights and return of tourists

The first international flights to Cape Town since SA went into lockdown in March are expected to arrive on October 1.

September 17 2020 - 17:36

Zweli Mkhize launches strategy to protect health workers

Health minister Zweli Mkhize on Thursday launched a strategy to protect the health and safety of health workers.

Speaking at the webinar to mark World Patient Safety Day, he said the plan aims to protect the physical health of health workers through prevention and mitigation of Covid-19 infections by providing a safe physical environment.

A total of 32,429 health workers in SA had contracted the coronavirus as of September 11 and 257 had succumbed to the virus.

September 17 2020 - 17:29

'It’s been long': how life is slowly easing back to 'normal' in Zimbabwe

Life in Zimbabwe is gradually reverting to how it was pre-lockdown, as the economy opens up.

Statistics indicate there have been a total of 7,598 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 5,823 recoveries and 224 deaths in the country - with an average of 24 new cases per day.

The big cities of Harare and Bulawayo have the highest number of infections. But for the first time in six months, people are becoming visible in the CBDs as late as 8pm, others as early as 5am.

September 17 2020 - 15:00

Parliament 'must have oversight' on ANC payback for Zimbabwe trip: DA

The DA wants parliament to be part of determining how much the ANC will pay for senior party members who used an air force jet to travel to Zimbabwe.

The party said it will request National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise to call an urgent meeting of the portfolio committee of defence and military veterans to which the department of defence accounts.

The DA wants SA National Defence Force representatives, department of defence accounting officers, including the CFO, and representatives of the National Treasury to determine the amount the ANC must pay back for “their brazen abuse” of the aircraft.

September 17 2020 - 13:53

New alcohol sale laws receive mixed reactions: 'Still no booze on weekends?'

The eased regulations relating to the sale of alcohol during lockdown have received mixed reactions on social media.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday night announced SA will be moving to level 1 of lockdown on Sunday. He said the cabinet arrived at the decision after numerous consultations with health-care experts and stakeholders.

Ramaphosa said South Africans had “withstood the coronavirus storm” and that the eased regulations will give the economy a much-needed boost.

September 17 2020 - 12:55

Politicians react to SA moving to level 1 lockdown

Politicians have weighed in on President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement to move the country to level 1 of the lockdown.

On Wednesday, Ramaphosa said SA would move to alert level 1 at midnight on Sunday.

“This move recognises that levels of infection are relatively low and that there is sufficient capacity in our health system to manage the need,” Ramaphosa said.

September 17 2020 - 12:37

POLL | Level 1 lockdown is here — are you ready?

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced eased lockdown regulations on Wednesday evening in his address to the nation about the state of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ramaphosa said the cabinet met “various stakeholders and experts” before arriving at the decision to move to alert level 1 at midnight on Sunday.

He cautioned that while the new regulations allow for more movement and gatherings, South Africans must be careful as “we are still in the midst of a deadly pandemic”. 

September 17 2020 - 08:35

'We gonna groove the whole night': SA welcomes level 1 lockdown

SA has happily welcomed the “new normal” with the country set to move to level 1 lockdown from Sunday at midnight.

On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will move to the last level of lockdown.

Among other things, restrictions on international travel will be eased gradually and cautiously, alcohol will be sold from Mondays to Fridays and the curfew will be shortened from midnight to 4am.

September 17 2020 - 08:07

WATCH | In case you missed it, SA is moving to lockdown level 1

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed South Africa on Wednesday. He announced that SA will be easing lockdown restrictions further and opening the country’s borders - with conditions.

His speech comes after meetings this week with the national coronavirus command council, the president’s coordinating council and the cabinet.

International travel restrictions will be lifted from 1 October, he said. People arriving from countries permitted into SA will have to produce a negative test result taken no more than 72 hours before travel, which will grant them access without having to quarantine first.

September 17 2020 - 08:00

SA's jarring ride through five lockdown levels

South Africans have endured a fearful, vexing, at times bewildering and undeniably bumpy ride through a maze of lockdown regulations imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic since the end of March.

Anxiety about getting ill, infecting loved ones, juggling home schooling, working remotely, buying cigarettes illegally, losing jobs, losing loved ones, debt and home-brewed pineapple beer.

It's been a long road.