COVID-19 WRAP | 7,500 new Covid-19 cases in Gauteng alone as SA records 11,700 infections in 24 hours

17 June 2021 - 06:00
By TimesLIVE
Medical workers administer tests at the Bondi Beach drive-through coronavirus disease (Covid-19) testing centre in the wake of new positive cases in Sydney, Australia, June 17, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Loren Elliott Medical workers administer tests at the Bondi Beach drive-through coronavirus disease (Covid-19) testing centre in the wake of new positive cases in Sydney, Australia, June 17, 2021.

June 17 2021 - 21:05

7,500 new Covid-19 cases in Gauteng alone as SA records 11,700 infections in 24 hours

SA recorded 11,767 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said on Thursday.

This was lower than the 13,246 reported on Wednesday, but still “higher than the average number of new cases per day over the seven preceding days”.

The positivity rate of 22.6% — the number of positive results against the number of tests undergone in the same period — was also higher than Wednesday. 

June 17 2021 - 19:09

Fear, fake news, registration process affecting vaccination of elderly: Kubayi-Ngubane

Fear driven by fake news as well as poor accessibility to the government's online registration portal — the electronic vaccination data system (EVDS) — are some of the reasons why SA's elderly are hesitant to get vaccinated.

This was revealed by acting minister of health Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane during her first parliamentary sitting before the portfolio committee on health on Thursday.

Kubayi-Ngubane was appointed as acting minister in the portfolio after President Cyril Ramaphosa placed minister Zweli Mkhize on special leave pending a Special Investigating Unit probe into the alleged irregular awarding of a R150m tender to Digital Vibes.

June 17 2021 - 19:04

Covid-19 third wave causing 'panic and misery' at Gauteng schools: Lesufi

Twenty schools have been closed while 1,077 educators and 1,977 pupils have tested positive for Covid-19 in Gauteng so far this year.

Provincial education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said this during his 2021/22 budget speech on Thursday.

“The third wave is causing immeasurable panic and misery in our schools,” he said. “To date, we have closed 20 schools due to reported Covid-19 cases. This year alone 1,077 educators tested positive and the number of learners who tested positive was almost double that [1,977].”

June 17 2021 - 16:02

Walmer, Summerstrand, Kariega are Nelson Mandela Bay’s Covid-19 hotspots

Nelson Mandela Bay has recorded 347 new Covid-19 cases, with Walmer, Kariega and Summerstrand identified as hotspots in the metro. 

The number of active cases in the city has risen to 1,421, with infections soaring in the three areas, which had recorded 99, 97 and 88 cases respectively by Wednesday.

The severity of the situation had resulted in the metro being declared a hotspot, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber said on Thursday.

June 17 2021 - 15:45

Gauteng health department allocated R56bn to provide 'quality health care'

The Gauteng health department has been allocated a budget of R56.5bn in the 2021/22 financial year, and R169.6bn over the 2021 medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) to fund the provision of “quality” health services in the province.

Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi made the announcement while delivering the department’s budget vote on Thursday.

Mokgethi also noted the “alarming” number of Covid-19 cases in the province.

June 17 2021 - 15:40

Nurses 'overwhelmed, at risk of burnout' as cases soar above 13,000

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) on Thursday warned that nurses in Gauteng were overwhelmed, overburdened and at risk of burnout as Covid-19 cases in the country soared above 13,000 over a 24-hour period.

“They are losing their colleagues and loved ones in the process, so the nurses are not coping at the moment. But it is not only nurses, we are even seeing it with doctors,” said Denosa acting provincial secretary Bongani Mazibuko.

Mazibuko said the workload was intense, and healthcare workers at times pulled 72-hour shifts or worked 7am to 7pm for up to four to five days a week.

June 17 2021 - 13:04

Rise in child Covid-19 infections 'a reflection of what is happening in communities'

As Covid-19 cases surge amid a third wave in the country, experts believe it is not surprising to see more younger people contracting the virus.

Prof Haroon Saloojee, of Wits University's paediatrics and child health department, said the transmission to children was a reflection of what was happening in communities.

“In both previous waves, infections in children increased as adult infections went up (and while schools were closed). It is important to understand that infections in school-aged children (pupils) does not mean that the children acquired the infection at school.

June 17 2021 - 11:35

Vaccine picket, alcohol & 'the new black' — 8 quotes from Malema's Youth Day address

EFF leader Julius Malema has urged South Africans to not drown in complaints or hope for solutions from the ANC, claiming it “will never come”.

Malema addressed a packed Youth Day rally outside Uitsig High School in Tshwane on Wednesday.

In his speech, the outspoken politician tackled issues such as the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, education and the future of SA's youth.

June 17 2021 - 11:00

Western Cape officially enters third wave with 9,300 active Covid-19 cases

The Western Cape has officially entered the third wave of Covid-19, says the head of health in the province Dr Keith Cloete.

He said on Thursday that deaths from Covid-19 in the province had reached about 13 per day (just more than double from a week ago), while the reproduction number in the last week has gone up to 1.4 (which means for every 10 people infected, another 14 get infected too).

“That gives you a sense of how new cases are accelerating. And it translates to a 68% increase in cases over a single week,” he said.

June 17 2021 - 09:10

Helen Zille slams Malema for hosting ‘super-spreader’ EFF Youth Day rally

DA federal council chair Helen Zille has slammed EFF leader Julius Malema for hosting and addressing a Youth Day rally, saying it is indicative of his defiance of the local government elections set to take place later this year.

Some attendees did not adequately follow Covid-19 safety precautions. They were seen without masks and not social distancing. Zille claimed this was Malema's strategy to get the elections postponed.

“We all know that Malema does not want an October election. The IEC has said the only reason for postponing the election would be if rampant Covid-19 runs out of control. So Julius holds super-spreader rallies, as he did today. This is a transparent strategy to postpone elections,” Zille tweeted on Wednesday.

June 17 2021 - 07:00

Regeneron's Covid-19 drug cuts deaths in hospitalized patients

A Covid-19 antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron and Roche reduced deaths in hospitalized patients whose own immune systems had failed to produce a response, a large British study found.

June 17 2021 - 06:45

Could a shipping crisis derail post-pandemic economic recovery? | Inside Story

A coronavirus outbreak in southern China's manufacturing and export hub is having a ripple effect on global trade. Guangdong province has imposed lockdowns to contain a rise in cases.

That's slowing activity in the region's container ports, causing global delivery delays. Businesses are warning of disruptions until Christmas.

So as countries start to reopen businesses and trade, could this crisis derail economic recovery from the pandemic?

June 17 2021 - 06:30

India defends 16-week gap for Covid booster shots

India's government defended its decision to double the gap between the two doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to up to 16 weeks, after three advisers said there was no agreement on such a wide interval.

June 17 2021 - 06:15

EDITORIAL | South Africans must get over Covid-19 fatigue and take things seriously

President Cyril Ramaphosa moved SA from Covid-19 alert level 2 to level 3 on Tuesday evening, as new infections surge across the country and experts warn the third wave will be our greatest tsunami to date. Yet the new restrictions announced by the president are a far cry from the tight regulations SA went through last year. 

June 17 2021 - 06:00

Gauteng government drags its heels amid petition to reopen Charlotte Maxeke Hospital

“It’s not so much about the horror you actually see in the hospital. It is a humanitarian disaster that is happening to people with no voice and no access to care. It is about people dying in their homes.”