COVID-19 WRAP | SA Covid-19 cases near 675,000
September 30 2020 - 21:55
SA confirms 1,767 new Covid-19 cases and 67 deaths in past 24 hours
There have been 1,767 new Covid-19 infections confirmed in the past 24 hours, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday.
This means there are now 674,339 cases countrywide.
There were also 67 Covid-19 related deaths confirmed in the past 24 hours. Of these, three were in the Eastern Cape, 37 in KwaZulu-Natal, 11 in Gauteng, nine in the Western Cape and seven in the Free State.
September 30 2020 - 16:33
WATCH | Universities to open, quarantine for international students
Minister of higher education, science and technology Blade Nzimande says universities may welcome 100% of their students back and international students may be subjected to a 10-day quarantine upon their return to SA.
This follows the recent announcement of SA entering alert level 1 made by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
September 30 2020 - 16:23
UK, US and French tourists will not be allowed into SA
Leisure travellers from the UK and the US are among those who will not be allowed to enter SA when international borders open on Thursday.
Those from France and the Netherlands are also on the list of high-risk countries that will not be allowed access for leisure purposes.
This is according to home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who was speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday.
September 30 2020 - 16:05
Universities can return to 100% attendance: Blade Nzimande
Higher education, science and innovation minister Blade Nzimande says universities can now welcome back 100% of their students.
This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced this month that the country was going to lockdown level 1.
Nzimande was addressing the media on Wednesday on his department's Covid-19 risk-adjusted strategy.
September 30 2020 - 15:08
LISTEN | Rapid Covid-19 testing kits to be provided to 20 African countries
A global partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and test manufacturers Abbott and SD Biosensor will make available innovative Covid-19 tests priced at a maximum of $5 (about R84) for low- and middle-income countries, including SA.
The partnership will make available 120 million affordable, quality rapid test kits to increase testing capabilities in up to 20 countries in Africa, starting in October.
This multimillion-dollar intervention is currently undergoing final sign-off. It is expected to bolster efforts by the African Union’s Partnership to Accelerate Covid-19 Testing (Pact) initiative, launched in August to mobilise experts, community workers, supplies and other resources to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the continent by testing, tracing, and treating Covid-19 cases in a timely manner.
September 30 2020 - 14:25
Eastern Cape worried as Covid-19 infections surge at schools
Eastern Cape health bosses are concerned about a second wave of Covid-19 infections spreading into the province, predominantly from the Free State.
Their fears stem from an outbreak of infections at schools in areas bordering the Free State, with health MEC Sindiswa Gomba on Tuesday describing the new wave as “fires that are spreading fast”.
She said cases were increasing in Aliwal North, possibly as a result of people who shop and live in the town but work in a Free State prison, Goedermoed.
September 30 2020 - 13:43
WATCH LIVE | Blade Nzimande briefs media on Covid-19 level 1 lockdown regulations
Regulations relating to Covid-19 level 1 restrictions will be discussed by higher education, science and innovation minister Blade Nzimande.
September 30 2020 - 13:23
Covid-19 has halted exodus of SA's dollar millionaires — for now
SA has lost about 4,000 dollar millionaires to countries like the UK, Australia and the US in the past 10 years.
But this year Covid-19 has forced the country's rich brigade to halt their migration plans.
This is according to Andrew Amoils, analyst at Sandton-based New World Wealth, which on Tuesday released the latest edition of its Global Wealth Migration Review.
September 30 2020 - 13:06
Moderna vaccine appears safe, shows signs of working in older people: study
Results from an early safety study of Moderna Inc's coronavirus vaccine candidate in older adults showed that it produced virus-neutralising antibodies at levels similar to those seen in younger adults, with side effects roughly on par with high-dose flu shots, researchers said on Tuesday.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, offers a more complete picture of the vaccine's safety in older adults, a group at increased risk of severe complications from Covid-19.
The findings are reassuring because immunity tends to weaken with age, Dr. Evan Anderson, one of the study's lead researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, said in a phone interview.
September 30 2020 - 11:54
Gauteng health official suspended over lack of action in awarding of contracts during Covid-19 pandemic
Gauteng premier David Makhura has placed the head of the provincial department of health under precautionary suspension with immediate effect.
The precautionary suspension of Prof Mkhululi Lukhele on Wednesday follows recommendations by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in a report presented to Makhura on September 22.
“The SIU found the head of department (HoD) failed to exercise his responsibility in the awarding of contracts to certain companies for the procurement of goods and services in relation to the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
September 30 2020 - 11:03
Covid-19 pandemic clipped Soweto pilot's wings — but she will fly again
A pilot from Soweto who soared to new heights at the controls of the world’s biggest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, is now jobless because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amanda Kandawire-Khoza, 30, explained how the global pandemic had clipped her wings just a year after she joined the Dubai-based Emirates airline.
In a post on Facebook, she said: “On March 21 2019, I hopped on a plane and relocated to the UAE [United Arab Emirates] to start a new chapter of my life. Little did I know I would become the first black South African female to fly the A380.”
September 30 2020 - 10:16
IN QUOTES | Zweli Mkhize: the risk of being forced back into hard lockdown remains very real
Health minister Zweli Mkhize says complacency in communities could be a leading cause of Covid-19 deaths in the future and result in a second wave of the pandemic more devastating than the first.
Mkhize, who delivered the keynote address at the World Environment Health Day webinar on Tuesday, highlighted the importance of environmental health.
He said the risk of complacency could become SA's “biggest drawback and result in a new spike in infections.
September 30 2020 - 09:23
Russia to supply 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to Egypt
Russia's sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday it had agreed to supply 25 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine to Egypt via Pharco, which it described as one of the country's leading pharmaceutical groups.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund has struck several deals to supply the Sputnik V vaccine abroad, including 100 million doses to India where it also expects to hold clinical trials.
September 30 2020 - 09:03
Western Cape booze traders hit with more than R1.7m in fines under lockdown: What you need to know
More than R1.7m worth of fines have been issued to liquor vendors for breaking lockdown regulations in the Western Cape during the past six months.
Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz revealed this week that the fines were issued between March 27 and September 25.
He said the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) was conducting 168 investigations into liquor vendors who have contravened the National Disaster Risk Management Act regulations. Of that number, 46 liquor licences were suspended.
September 30 2020 - 08:11
Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 33.52 million, death toll at 1,002,898
More than 33.52 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,002,898 have died, 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.
September 30 2020 - 08:09
North Korea finds 'faults' in anti-coronavirus effort after outcry over South Korean
North Korea has discovered "faults" in its anti-coronavirus measures, state media said on Wednesday, after an outcry in South Korea over a citizen who North Korean soldiers killed near their maritime border where tight virus controls are in force.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered a rare apology for the killing of the South Korean fisheries officer last week in waters off the west coast of the peninsula.
North Korea said its soldiers shot him because he tried to flee without revealing his identity but denied a South Korean assertion that they then set his body on fire, saying only a floatation device he had used was burnt in the course of efforts to stop the novel coronavirus.