COVID-19 WRAP | 1,913 new cases confirmed

SA recorded 145 Covid-19 related deaths in the past 24 hours, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday.

08 October 2020 - 07:23 By TimesLIVE
An aloe stands over Camps Bay beach, normally popular with foreign tourists, in Cape Town, South Africa, during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
An aloe stands over Camps Bay beach, normally popular with foreign tourists, in Cape Town, South Africa, during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

October 08 2020 - 20:48

Masuku was slap bang in the middle of dodgy PPI tender, SIU report claims

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku denied under oath that he leaked confidential departmental information about personal protective equipment tenders to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, and her husband Thandisizwe Diko.

This is despite a damning preliminary report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) that places Masuku firmly at the centre of dodgy tender processes in his department’s procurement of Covid-19 PPE worth R125m from a company owned by Khusela’s husband.

The report, dated October 1, places Masuku at the centre of the “irregular tender” to the company owned by the husband of the president’s spokesperson and two other companies associated with him.

October 08 2020 - 20:19

Government says cheaper Covid-19 tests will be rolled out at airports

In a move to reduce logistical complications at the country's points of entry, cabinet announced on Thursday that it would implement antigen testing.

In a statement, the government said the antigen tests for Covid-19 detection would be rolled out to all ports of entry with immediate effect. As part of easing the lockdown and moving to alert level one, the country opened its borders on October 1.

Level one travel regulations stipulate that all travellers arriving at the port of entry without a certified negative Covid-19 test result — not older than 72 hours — must be tested at the point of entry before entering the country. The antigen test will be done at a fee of between R150 and R170, which will be payable by the traveller.

October 08 2020 - 17:59

'We will act without fear or favour': Joburg mayor promises action on PPE corruption

Johannesburg mayor Geoffrey Makhubo has issued a stern warning to those implicated in the fraud and corruption involving personal protective equipment (PPE), saying action will be taken.

He expressed the sentiments on Thursday as he vowed to publicise the outcome of an internal audit report on Covid-19 procurement as soon as it is made available.

“Where there is evidence of wrongdoing, we will act - and do so relentlessly. We will display a shift from what the auditor-general termed a ‘lack of consequence management’ by the previous administration,” said Makhubo.

October 08 2020 - 15:07

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku knew about dodgy PPE procurement, SIU says in damning report

A damning Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report has placed suspended Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku firmly at the centre of dodgy Covid-19 PPE tender procurement processes worth R125m from a politically-connected firm.

This is according to an SIU preliminary report prepared for Gauteng premier David Makhura as part of its investigation into Masuku's role in the awarding of tenders to Royal Bhaca, a company owned by Thandisizwe Diko, husband of president Cyril Ramaphosa spokesperson , Khusela Diko.

The Dikos and the Masukus are family friends.

October 08 2020 - 14:00

Western Cape calls for change in international travel rules — Here are 10 things it's suggesting

The regulations were put in place by the government on September 30, a day before international borders were reopened. The current regulations allow business travellers from high-risk countries to enter SA with a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, but not leisure travellers.

October 08 2020 - 13:06

Mother City positive about weathering the storm caused by Covid-19

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Cape Town’s city centre was on the rise after weathering the storm of a “Day Zero” water crisis which threatened to see taps run dry by early 2018.

On Wednesday the annual "State of Cape Town Central City Report" for 2019 was presented, painting a picture of a city centre on a path of upward growth despite a battered national and local economy.

October 08 2020 - 13:00

Eli Lilly signs deal for supply of Covid-19 treatments to low income countries

Eli Lilly and Co said on Thursday it had entered into an agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for potential supply of its experimental antibody treatments for Covid-19 to low and middle-income countries. 

- Reuters 

October 08 2020 - 12:50

Malaysia reports 375 new coronavirus cases

Malaysia reported on Thursday 375 new coronavirus cases, the second straight day of falling infections as the Southeast Asian country moved to impose targeted lockdowns to rein in a fresh surge in infections.

The new cases raise the cumulative tally to 14,368 cases, according to the health ministry. There were five new deaths reported, raising the toll to 146.

- Reuters 

October 08 2020 - 12:49

If current trends continue, there will be 16,500 stillbirths in SA in 2030

Welcoming a baby into the world should be a time of great joy, but for too many mothers it’s associated with grief as their babies die even before they catch their first breath.

October 08 2020 - 12:47

Swiss report nearly 1,200 new coronavirus cases in a day

The number of new coronavirus infections rose by 1,172 in a day, data from Switzerland's public health agency showed on Thursday.

The agency reported a total of 58,881 confirmed cases. The death toll rose by two from Wednesday to 1,791.

The country reported its first confirmed case in late February. New daily cases peaked at 1,456 on March 23 and had dwindled to as few as three on June 1. 

- Reuters 

October 08 2020 - 12:10

Cape gangs made big profits from cigarettes during sales ban: report

When the sale of cigarettes was prohibited during the coronavirus lockdown, trade in the banned product was more profitable than drugs.

This is according to a Global Initiative Against Transnational Crime report, which found that selling cigarettes was an appealing market and, for drug traders, it was easy to monopolise sales in areas which were already under their control.

October 08 2020 - 11:21

Austria's daily coronavirus cases surpass 1,200, a new record

Austria has recorded 1,209 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, clearly surpassing the previous record set in March during the first wave of infections, data sent by the Interior Ministry showed on Thursday.

Daily cases have been rising since late June and had recently come close to the March 26 record of 1,050, according to an online dashboard by Austria's main public health body, the Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES). Of the new cases reported on Thursday, more than half, 613, were in Vienna.

- Reuters 

October 08 2020 - 09:02

The R350 Covid-19 relief grant is due to expire on October 15

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu has vowed that outstanding R350 Covid relief grants will be paid to approved applicants even though the grant is ending.

October 08 2020 - 08:00

'I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise,' says Trump

Itching to get back out on the campaign trail since leaving a military hospital on Monday, Trump has called off negotiations with Congress for a fresh round of stimulus for the ailing economy and declared in a video that his illness was "a gift from God."

October 08 2020 - 07:50

Bulgaria reports new daily record of 437 coronavirus cases

Bulgaria reported a daily record of 437 coronavirus cases on Thursday, as the country grapples with a rising number of infections, data from the national information platform on the disease showed.

The Balkan country now has 22,743 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 873 deaths.

The country's chief health inspector has said new restrictions, such as closing restaurants may be imposed if the confirmed cases continue to rise, but ruled out a full lockdown. 


October 08 2020 - 07:43

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 36.15 million, death toll at 1,052,602

ore than 36.15 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,052,602​ 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.


October 08 2020 - 07:09

'I worked during the pandemic in bad conditions. Why can't I get an increase?': health worker

Cosatu members who demanded 2020 salary increases in nationwide protests on Wednesday say their demands are about more than just money.

The unions have been involved in a battle over the government’s failure to honour a 2018 agreement to increase workers’ salaries this year, citing budget shortfalls linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

October 08 2020 - 06:00