COVID-19 WRAP | SA Covid-19 death toll climbs to 28,033

30 December 2020 - 06:29 By TimesLIVE
Police warning defiant beachgoerswho continued to visit Muizenberg beach in Cape Town on December 29 2020, despite President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that beaches in SA would all be closed for 14 days due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 under the second wave.
Police warning defiant beachgoerswho continued to visit Muizenberg beach in Cape Town on December 29 2020, despite President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that beaches in SA would all be closed for 14 days due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 under the second wave.

December 30 2020 - 21:04

SA records highest ever number of Covid-19 cases in a day

Close to 18,000 new Covid-19 cases have been recorded over the past 24-hours, setting a new record for the number of infections in a day.

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday evening that the positivity rate - being an indicator of the rapidity of the spread of the virus - stood at 33% and remained of “major concern”.

The latest daily tally of 17,710 pushes the cumulative total number of infections since the start of the pandemic in SA to 1,039,161.  

December 30 2020 - 17:54

Zimbabwe pins hopes on vaccine as Covid-19 infections rise again

The New Year’s plea from many in Zimbabwe is the arrival of a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible, as the country's festive season was dampened by fears fuelled by a second wave of infections.

The UK has pledged to vaccinate three million people drawn from low-income communities.  

December 30 2020 - 16:42

Joburg lockdown: R3,000 fine for flouting curfew, R1,500 for no mask

The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) arrested 49 people for failing to confine themselves to their place of residence - violating the curfew - between 9pm on Tuesday and 6am on Wednesday.

This follows the imposition of a longer curfew, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday when SA was due to move to level 3 of the national lockdown in response to the rapid spread of Covid-19.

The City of Johannesburg has shared an admission of guilt fines schedule for offences under the Disaster Management Act level 3 regulations for the region.

December 30 2020 - 15:44

Don't panic, we have enough beds so stop spreading rumours: KZN health MEC

At least 34% of hospital beds remain unoccupied in KwaZulu-Natal as the province continues to battle against the second surge in Covid-19 infections. 

These figures were revealed by health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu during a digital briefing on Wednesday. 

Simelane-Zulu said while the bed occupancy rate varied across districts, places such as Ugu, uMgungundlovu and eThekwini - areas identified as hotspots by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday - were taking strain. 

December 30 2020 - 14:28

We need sufficient vaccines, and fast, says Agri SA

Agri SA has expressed concern at a perceived lack of urgency by the South African government in securing enough vaccines for the population.

On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that SA is set to receive a Covid-19 vaccine in the second quarter of 2021. After Ramaphosa's announcement, the DA questioned why SA was only looking at receiving the vaccines in the second quarter, when many other countries with similar socio-economic circumstances had recently started a comprehensive nationwide rollout of a vaccination programme. .

“More resources must be made available to assist our scientists and bolster their capacity to come up with medical solutions based on rigorous and proven scientific research to overcome this pandemic,” Agri SA said.

December 30 2020 - 14:10

Tough Botswana Covid rules contributed to Beitbridge congestion, says Aaron Motsoaledi

Aaron Motsoaledi on Wednesday set the record straight regarding recent congestion at the Beitbridge border post.

The home affairs minister was outlining the government's Covid-19 intervention procedures as the country expected volumes of people to return to SA between January 2 and 14.

He said among reported inaccuracies were claims that the government, particularly his department, failed to plan ahead to reduce huge congestion at Beitbridge.

December 30 2020 - 13:57

'Get the Covid-19 vaccine', David Guetta tells fans ahead of NYE gig

French DJ David Guetta said he hoped everybody would get vaccinated against Covid-19, shortly before recording a charity concert outside the Louvre Museum in Paris that will be streamed on New Year's Eve.

Guetta, known for his collaborations over nearly two decades with artists such as Akon, J Balvin, Nicki Minaj and Kelly Rowland, is raising money for UNICEF and French charity Les Restos du Coeur, which provides food and meals to people in need.

“I'm going to do the vaccine, and I hope people are going to do it too because I don't see any other way to go out of this situation,” Guetta said ahead of recording the gig.

December 30 2020 - 13:40

WATCH | ‘We don’t want to see you on the streets’: Police clamp down under level 3

Police officers descended on the streets of Johannesburg on Tuesday evening, enforcing new lockdown regulations.

December 30 2020 - 13:38

Covid-19 means Kaizer Chiefs must brace for an expensive trip to Angola

Kaizer Chiefs are counting the escalating costs of their trip to Angola to meet Primeiro de Agosto‚ with Covid-19 pushing the amount they will have to pay far higher than a normal Caf Champions League away outing.

Angola has shut its borders to South Africa due to this country’s rapidly rising Covid-19 numbers but the SA Football Association (Safa) has negotiated‚ and are close to confirming‚ special dispensation for Chiefs to travel to Luanda on Sunday for their second leg game on Tuesday. Chiefs drew the home match 0-0 at FNB Stadium last Wednesday.

With no commercial flights available to Angola due to the border shutdown‚ Amakhosi will have to arrange an expensive charter flight from Johannesburg to Luanda.

December 30 2020 - 13:07

K.O keen on Covid-19 vaccine: My livelihood is outside, I wanna get to it without being paranoid

Artist K.O has encouraged his fans to have faith in the much-anticipated Covid-19 vaccine.

In an address on Monday to announce SA's move to adjusted lockdown level 3, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country will receive it in 2021.

On Twitter, K.O said he is for the internationally approved vaccine and has no time for conspiracy theories floating about it on the internet.

December 30 2020 - 13:04

WATCH | Forget the beach closures, this puff adder just went for a swim

Interior designer and former Springbok rugby player Schalk Burger’s wife Michele Burger had the TL freaking out this week after she shared a video of a puff adder swimming just off the coast of a Western Cape beach.

Posting pictures of a family outing on Monday, ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement that beaches would be closed in Covid-19 hotspots, she wrote: “Little did we know that yesterday would be our last day at the beach for a while! We also did not know puff adders enjoyed swimming in the very same spots that we do.”

December 30 2020 - 12:50

Be home by 9pm on New Year's Eve or Bheki Cele will 'make room' for you

“There is no December 31st. There won't be any hitting of tins here. By 9 o'clock everyone should be in bed. So it is important to note that for that to happen we [SAPS] need to monitor that.”

So said Bheki Cele at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, outside Durban, on Wednesday.

The police minister added that there would be consequences for individuals who break curfew or are drunk

December 30 2020 - 12:43

No valid Covid-19 test, no entry to SA, says home affairs minister Motsoaledi

SA will not allow any traveller into the country without a valid Covid-19 test.

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said this on Wednesday during a media briefing on immigration matters and border law enforcement under adjusted Covid-19 alert level 3. He outlined the government's intervention procedures as the country expected volumes of people to return to SA between January 2 and 14.

Motsoaledi said the department will deploy an additional 160 officials at the six busiest land ports to process returning travellers until January 14.

December 30 2020 - 12:07

Anele Mdoda hits back at new Covid-19 variant being labelled 'the SA strain'

Radio host Anele Mdoda has added her voice to the outcry over a mutated Covid-19 virus being labelled the "South African coronavirus strain".

It all started when The Japan Times published an article on Tuesday reporting Japan had confirmed its first case of the "South African coronavirus strain".

The variant was confirmed by health minister Zweli Mkhize earlier this month and has driven the nation's second wave of infections. Another mutation of the virus has been discovered in the UK.

December 30 2020 - 12:05

Shivambu splits social media with Ramaphosa 'crocodile tears' claim

EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu has again got tongues wagging on social media after he said people should not be moved by President Cyril Ramaphosa's “crocodile tears”.

In an emotional address to the nation on Monday, a teary-eyed Ramaphosa pleaded with citizens to take care of themselves and comply with Covid-19 regulations after the country's infection rate hit the one-million mark.

December 30 2020 - 11:55

Deputy home affairs minister Njabulo Nzuza tests positive for Covid-19

Deputy minister of home affairs Njabulo Nzuza has tested positive for Covid-19, minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Wednesday.

He said Nzuza will be off for the next two weeks or so.

“He is isolating at home. He is still symptomless, he is just quarantining at home, away from everybody.

“We wish him a speedy recovery.”

December 30 2020 - 11:45

California nurse tests positive over a week after receiving Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

A 45-year-old nurse in California tested positive for Covid-19 more than a week after receiving Pfizer Inc's coronavirus vaccine, an ABC News affiliate reported on Tuesday.

Matthew W., a nurse at two different local hospitals, said in a Facebook post on December 18 that he had received the Pfizer vaccine, telling the ABC News affiliate that his arm was sore for a day but that he had suffered no other side-effects.

December 30 2020 - 11:32

DJ Zinhle in mourning after losing loved one to Covid-19, urges people to be careful

Messages of condolences are flooding in for hitmaker DJ Zinhle after she opened up about losing a loved one to Covid-19. 

The renowned DJ took to Twitter to share her heartbreak after someone very close to her died.

Not mentioning who the person was, Zinhle wrote: "Lost someone I love dearly because of Covid-19. My heart is broken. Please take care of yourselves.

December 30 2020 - 10:46

RECORDED | Aaron Motsoaledi gives update on immigration under revised level 3 rules

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi will on Wednesday brief the media on immigration matters under revised level 3 Covid-19 rules. 

December 30 2020 - 10:37

5 celebs who came out of lockdown & went straight into vacation mode

As soon as the lockdown eased its rules, those with wanderlust in their hearts couldn't help but pack their suitcases to jet off their next adventure.

Though many of us weren't fortunate enough to travel, we could easily hop onto Instagram and vicariously live through our fave celebrities who have been soaking up that vacay time.

December 30 2020 - 10:35

'I'm moving to the Northern Cape': 10 hilarious reactions to lockdown beach regulations

SA’s largest province, the Northern Cape, became a top trend on Twitter on Tuesday after the announcement that it is the only province whose beaches will be open under lockdown level 3.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced SA would move to level three to arrest the spread of Covid-19. His announcement followed that of the health ministry, which said the country had surpassed one million cumulative Covid-19 cases.

December 30 2020 - 10:34

Work with us to avoid border mess, road freight industry asks government

Transport and road freight organisations on Wednesday asked the government for a public-private partnership to prevent a repeat of the chaos at the Beitbridge border post.

The congestion between Zimbabwe and SA, attributed to this country's Covid-19 testing, was cleared at the weekend, according to home affairs. Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is scheduled to brief the media on Wednesday morning on borders and travel under the new lockdown regulations.

The Federation of Eastern and Southern African Road Transport Associations (Fesarta) and the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (Saaff) are pleading for consultation as they prepare for the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

December 30 2020 - 08:00

Jacob Zuma's lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane ‘over the worst’, but still in hospital fighting Covid-19

Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane is receiving treatment in hospital for Covid-19.

The former chairperson of the Pan African Bar Association, who is representing former president Jacob Zuma at the state capture inquiry, was infected a few weeks ago, said the association's current chair, Nasreen Rajab-Budlender.

“He subsequently experienced very severe symptoms, which required hospitalisation. He is still in hospital, but is recovering well and his doctors are happy with his progress,” she said.

December 30 2020 - 07:59

We can't be blamed for soaring Covid-19 cases, says SA Breweries

South African Breweries (SAB) has bemoaned the ban on alcohol sales as the country returned to level three restrictions, adding that the alcohol sector could not be the scapegoat for the rising number of Covid-19 infections.

“We cannot agree that our sector is continuously criminalised and called out as the most significant cause of the recent increase in cases in South Africa,” the company said on Tuesday evening.

December 30 2020 - 07:57

Top cop Khehla Sitole puts Covid-19 behind bars and gets back to work

National police commissioner Gen Khehla Sitole has recovered from Covid-19.

The SA Police Service (SAPS) had announced he tested positive earlier this month after coming into contact with a police officer who later tested positive.

December 30 2020 - 06:28

Beach goers in CT had it tough on the first day of the revised level 3 rules

December 30 2020 - 06:05

'Some of us will die, but those left behind should continue the fight': doctor

Your chances of survival when arriving at hospital will be the factor that decides whether you get a bed, are placed in ICU or receive oxygen.

That's according to Dr Bevan Goqwana, who practices at a private hospital in Mthatha, Eastern Cape.

“This is a very stressful situation in which we find ourselves. There is a shortage and we allocate if we see a patient has a chance of survival. This is not an ideal situation, but it’s where things are at,” he told TimesLIVE.