COVID-19 WRAP | Australia's Covid-19 hotspot state records two days without new cases for first time in seven months

27 October 2020 - 07:26 By TimesLIVE
A man wearing a protective face mask trains at an outdoor gym after Brussels regional government ordered gyms and cultural facilities to close, as coronavirus disease infections in Belgium continued to surge to record highs, in Brussels, Belgium on October 26 2020.
A man wearing a protective face mask trains at an outdoor gym after Brussels regional government ordered gyms and cultural facilities to close, as coronavirus disease infections in Belgium continued to surge to record highs, in Brussels, Belgium on October 26 2020.
Image: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

October 27 2020 - 20:45

Bail for man who pocketed R150k in Covid-19 funds meant for preschool

A 45-year-old man from Pretoria who was arrested after receiving R150,000 in Covid-19 UIF funds in May this year was granted bail on Tuesday.

The money was meant for Cape Town preschool Durbanville Kleuter Academy.

Lesiba Samuel Modiba was released on R3,000 bail by the Pretoria specialised commercial crimes court, according to Hawks spokesperson Capt Ndivhuwo Mulamu.

October 27 2020 - 20:34

SA records 1,000 new Covid-19 cases in past 24 hours

SA recorded 1,092 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.

This means that there are now 717,851 confirmed infections across the country.

Mkhize said there were also 45 Covid-19 related deaths recorded since the release of Monday's figures. Of these, 19 took place in the past 24 to 48 hours, with the remaining being historical deaths that had been verified since Monday's statistical release.

October 27 2020 - 19:24

Cyril Ramaphosa dismisses lockdown talk, will address SA next week

President Cyril Ramaphosa has flatly dismissed speculation that he is planning to return the country to a hard lockdown.

Despite warnings of a Covid-19 resurgence, including from health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, Ramaphosa said a hard lockdown was not on the cards.

Ramaphosa made the say while taking oral questions from MPs in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on a range of issues, including Covid-19 corruption, gender-based violence and the controversial trip to Zimbabwe last month by defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula with the ANC in tow.

October 27 2020 - 18:24

Political parties lambaste ANC 'hyenas' over Covid-19 corruption

Political parties have slammed the ruling ANC and its handling of Covid-19 relief funds, which were allegedly looted by connected party leaders.

During a debate of the National Assembly on Tuesday, parties tore into the ANC, placing the blame squarely on the party and its leaders.

A R500bn relief fund was announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa after he placed the country on lockdown as a reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. But it has been marred with corruption, ranging from the looting of the UIF TERS monies, to misappropriating food parcels and alleged corruption related to personal protective equipment.

October 27 2020 - 18:17

I'm the scapegoat, says former Gauteng health CFO over PPE scandal

Former Gauteng health CFO Kabelo Lehloenya says she is being made a scapegoat for the corruption allegations related to Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) that have rocked the department.

In August, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) obtained an interim freezing order against the bank accounts of a number of companies, saying its investigation had uncovered that contracts were corruptly awarded to Ledla Structural Development — a “proxy” for Royal Bhaca Projects, owned by the husband of presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko.

The Dikos are family friends of former Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku, who was fired this month after the SIU wrote topremier David Makhura detailing the findings of its investigation.

October 27 2020 - 15:06

UK study finds evidence of waning antibody immunity to Covid-19 over time

Antibodies against the novel coronavirus declined rapidly in the British population during the summer, a study found on Tuesday, suggesting protection after infection may not be long lasting and raising the prospect of waning immunity in the community.

Scientists at Imperial College London have tracked antibody levels in the British population following the first wave of Covid-19 infections in March and April.

Their study found that antibody prevalence fell by a quarter, from 6% of the population around the end of June to just 4.4% in September.

—Reuters

October 27 2020 - 08:45

IN QUOTES | 'People cannot social distance in picket lines': Julius Malema

EFF leader Julius Malema says wearing masks and observing social distancing is not possible during protests.

While addressing the media on Monday from the EFF headquarters in Braamfontein, he was asked about the flouting of regulations which apply to social gatherings amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EFF leadership and scores of its supporters protested in Senekal in the Free State nearly two weeks ago, where two men implicated in the murder of farm manager Brendin Horner appeared for a bail hearing.

October 27 2020 - 07:28

PODCAST | Is Africa still the world's guinea pig?

As scientists expedite research into a suitable vaccine against Covid-19, global efforts are at risk of being undermined by political forces.

Ahead of the US election, Republican leaders are claiming to be just days away from a suitable vaccine, with the left saying it’s a power play.

Russia already threw down the gauntlet a few weeks ago, much to the scorn of the West, while in China, citizens are travelling hundreds of kilometres to ask for a jab still in development.

October 27 2020 - 07:20

Australia's Covid-19 hotspot state records two days without new cases for first time in seven months

The Australian state of Victoria, the epicentre of Covid-19 infections, said on Tuesday it had gone 48 hours without detecting any new cases for the first time in more than seven months.

Victoria, the second most populous state, will allow restaurants and cafes in Melbourne to reopen from Wednesday after more than three months under a stringent lockdown.

Despite case numbers dwindling and businesses poised to reopen, Victoria will only ease limits on social gatherings in the home, allowing two adults and dependents from one house to make one daily visit to one other household.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said the highest risk of spreading the virus remained in the family home where social distancing protocols were often not applied.

"This is just about making sure that people can connect, but we can't have a situation where people are having visitors in the morning, visitors at lunchtime, visitors in the evening," Andrews told reporters in Melbourne."

Reuters

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