COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 16,726 coronavirus cases in last 24 hours

01 January 2021 - 06:00
By TimesLIVE
Nurse Fabiana de Oliveira works during the New Year at a field hospital set up at a sports gym to treat patients suffering from Covid-19 in Santo Andre, Sao Paulo state, Brazil on January 1 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli Nurse Fabiana de Oliveira works during the New Year at a field hospital set up at a sports gym to treat patients suffering from Covid-19 in Santo Andre, Sao Paulo state, Brazil on January 1 2021.

01 January 2021 - 21:29

SA records 16,726 coronavirus cases in last 24 hours

SA recorded more than 16,000 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total of cases in the country to 1,073,887.

Over this period, 418 Covid-related deaths were also recorded. The total number of Covid-19-related fatalities is now 28,469.

Gauteng has highest number of cases in the country (291,392), followed by the Western Cape (212,788) and KwaZulu-Natal (204,959). 

01 January 2021 - 14:04

Nurse on her New Year's experience: 'Believe you me, people are testing positive'

Professional nurse Busi Ramafoko, who works at the resuscitation bay at the Chris Hani  Baragwanath Hospital, said this New Year's has been very different from previous years in terms of the number of patients she saw and the reasons for them being in the hospital.

The resuscitation bay is an emergency assessment area for critical patients that need stabilisation and resuscitation when coming in for care. The bay is traditionally attached to the trauma unit of a hospital.

Ramafoko has been working in the 'resus' bay for nine years and has worked on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day each year during that time. But she said 2021 was different from the other years she has worked.

01 January 2021 - 13:10

Limpopo cops arrest 496 people on New Year's Eve for flouting Disaster Management Act restrictions

Almost 500 people in Limpopo spent New Year's Eve in jail for contravening the alert level 3 restrictions stipulated in the Disaster Management Act.

The arrests were effected during heightened operations conducted on Thursday and Friday morning in all five districts of the province.

The Waterberg district saw 149 people arrested, while four were arrested in Mopani, 146 in Capricorn, 59 in Sekhukhune and 138 in Vhembe district.

01 January 2021 - 12:56

Matric exam markers to have health workers on call and 'easy meals'

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga has released directions to ensure Covid-19 protocols are in place to help the more than 45,000 people marking the matric exam papers from Monday.

The rules state compulsory screening and mask compliance must be adhered to at the 181 marking centres around the country over an 18-day period.

“In the marking centres we have increased the number of monitors and we will visit all the centres to monitor compliance. We have made health and safety a priority for all staff in the marking centres,” said Mathanzima Mweli, director-general of the department of basic education.

01 January 2021 - 12:13

Cops nab pair flouting curfew regulations and armed with unlicensed guns

Police in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape seemingly scuttled the nefarious plans of two armed suspects roaming the streets of Mandela Park on New Year's Eve.

According to a SAPS statement, “while law abiding citizens were confined to their homes” the pair cruised the streets in the early hours of the morning in a hired Nissan Almera.

That is until they were spotted by members of the provincial integrated team, who were out in full force conducting a crime operation.

01 January 2021 - 11:38

Booze restrictions will help until we get a Covid vaccine: specialist at busy hospital

A front-line worker at one of the biggest hospitals in Gauteng said the number of Covid patients being admitted to the hospital was steadily increasing and that a vaccine was the only way to help ease the burden in hospitals.

Prof Mervyn Mer, a principal specialist in critical care and pulmonology at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, spoke to TimesLIVE on New Year's morning after another busy night at the hospital.

Mer has not had a day or night off from work in 10 months — since the virus took hold in SA.

01 January 2021 - 10:55

WATCH | Covid claims another giant in activist Dr Maitshwe Nchaupe Aubrey Mokoape

Anti-apartheid activist and a former leader of the Pan-Africanist Congress and Black Consciousness Movement Dr Nchaupe Aubrey Mokoape will be laid to rest on Friday.

He died of Covid-19 complications in a Durban hospital at the weekend. He was 76 years old.

His funeral service takes place at his home in Kloof, west of Durban.

01 January 2021 - 10:02

IN PICTURES | SA bids farewell to victims of Covid-19 by candle light

As SA recorded a new daily high of confirmed coronavirus cases on New Year's Eve, President Cyril Ramaphosa led a candle-lighting ceremony in Cape Town to commemorate those who have lost their lives to the virus.

Senior government officials and health workers followed suit with candle-lighting ceremonies observed across the country to honour front-line workers and South Africans who succumbed to the infectious disease.

SA confirmed 18,000 new cases of the coronavirus recorded over 24 hours on Thursday evening, bringing the national total of infections to 1,057,161 and the death toll to 28,469. The virus was first recorded in SA in March 2020.

01 January 2021 - 09:57

'I have broken no rules': Mantashe wedding interrupted by adjusted Covid regulations

Minister of mineral resources and energy Gwede Mantashe has denied that he broke the Covid-19 alert level 3 regulations set by President Cyril Ramaphosa by going ahead with a potentially superspreader event in his hometown of Cala this week.

Mantashe confirmed that a two-day wedding celebration had been planned for December 28 and 29 before Ramaphosa’s announcement.

The Mantashe wedding took place a day after the national command council on coronavirus took a decision to introduce more restrictions to curb the rising number of Covid-19 infections. The cabinet — which Mantashe is a member of — then confirmed this decision on the first day of the wedding.

01 January 2021 - 07:24

If you have a car crash during curfew, will your insurance claim be rejected?

Insurers generally don’t honour a claim if you were doing anything illegal at the time of the so-called claimable event — such as driving over the legal alcohol limit or without a valid licence.

So what about if you have an accident between 9pm and 6am, when you shouldn’t be on the road at all, thanks to the latest Disaster Management Act curfew?

No existing policy would include any mention of a government curfew, at least not one taken out before March this year, so how would such a claim be treated?

01 January 2021 - 07:15

IN PICTURES | New Year's Eve before and after the coronavirus pandemic

Just how much the coronavirus pandemic changed our world was evident at popular holiday destinations in SA on New Year’s Eve.

Once bustling festive season attractions, crowded with holidaymakers and locals frolicking in the sun while counting down the hours until midnight, were virus “hotspots” almost devoid of human life on Thursday.

The last day of the year was unlike those that elicited shrieks of delight from children, still on a high from Christmas, at popular hangouts in Cape Town and Durban. It was eerily quiet. There would be no raising of glasses to toast the arrival of 2021 at restaurants, pubs and clubs.

01 January 2021 - 06:21

'The longest year of our lives': looking back on 2020

A recent social media remark was that 2020 had been the longest 12 years of our lives — which is not far off if you recall everything that happened.

It certainly felt like a long year — we learnt we were stronger than we thought — but there was so much more to the year than Covid-19.

Let's take a look at some of the memorable events of 2020. We're bound to have forgotten something, remind us with a comment below.

01 January 2021 - 06:00

Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 82.9 million, death toll at 1,809,744

More than 82.9 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,809,744​ 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.