COVID-19 WRAP | 10,800 Covid-19 cases in Gauteng in 24 hours as 17,400 new infections recorded in SA

23 June 2021 - 06:06 By TimesLIVE
David Rooney, a student at Michigan's Clarkston Junior High School, gets a temperature check before boarding a tour bus during his 8th grade trip to Washington, in Sterling, VA, U.S., U.S., June 18, 2021.
David Rooney, a student at Michigan's Clarkston Junior High School, gets a temperature check before boarding a tour bus during his 8th grade trip to Washington, in Sterling, VA, U.S., U.S., June 18, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

June 23 2021 - 19:27

10,800 Covid-19 cases in Gauteng in 24 hours as 17,400 new infections recorded in SA

Nearly 17,500 Covid-19 cases were recorded in SA in the past 24 hours, with Gauteng recording a provincial high of 10,806 of the new infections.

The 17,493 cases — at a positivity rate of 24.9% — is the highest single-day increase in cases since January 14, when 8,503 infections were recorded. There have now been 1,861,065 cumulative infections recorded to date.

In the past day, there were also 166 Covid-19 related deaths recorded, meaning that there have been 59,258 confirmed fatalities linked to the virus since the outbreak in March last year.

June 23 2021 - 16:15

June 23 2021 - 16:13

Covid-19 won't be over until everyone has vaccine access, says Nomzamo Mbatha

Nomzamo Mbatha has a lot to be excited about.

The local actress recently made waves after snagging a role in the Eddie Murphy film, Coming 2 America, and hints that she’ll be appearing on screen with another international A-lister soon.

“I’m actually getting ready to hop on set and shoot my next film that will have a very awesome human being that has been in the Hollywood blockbusters for a very long time,” Mbatha says.

June 23 2021 - 13:52

Joy, hope and concern as KZN's teacher vaccination drive kicks off

Fifty-seven-year-old primary school principal Nomusa Lushaba could hardly contain her joy when she became one of the first educators in KwaZulu-Natal to receive her Covid-19 vaccine on Wednesday.

Lushaba, the principal of Duduzani Primary School in Ntuzuma, north of Durban, was among hundreds of educators, members of school governing body associations, teacher union members and support staff who gathered at the KwaMashu Indoor Sports Centre to receive their jabs.

Education MEC Kwazi Mshengu, with health MEC Nomagugu Simelane, led the vaccination drive launch for teachers in the province.

June 23 2021 - 13:30

Here's why teachers are getting the J&J jab and not the Pfizer vaccine

Basic education minister Angie Motshekga says the department is chasing a tight deadline to conclude the vaccination of teachers by July 8.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday from the Rabasotho community centre in Thembisa, Motshekga said the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) jab would help speed up the inoculation process for the department, as it only requires a single administration, unlike the Pfizer vaccine which needs two doses.

“We're the ones who put the timelines to say we need two weeks because we don't want to disrupt schooling and, when we close on the 8th, we want to be done, so that when we come back in the next term we're done with vaccinations.

June 23 2021 - 13:00

Mark Pilgrim reflects on Covid-19 health scare: ‘It has been the biggest struggle in years’

Broadcaster Mark Pilgrim is finally reunited with his loved ones after battling a Covid-19 scare.

After documenting his journey on social media for the past two weeks, he shared a picture of himself hugging his two daughters on Tuesday.

“After two weeks, there are simply no words,” he wrote on the picture.

June 23 2021 - 12:40

Over-50s next in line for Covid-19 vaccines, says deputy health minister

Deputy health minister Joe Phaahla said on Wednesday SA is gearing up to vaccinate people in the 50 to 59 age group

“We are quite advanced with those over the age of 60,” he said, “though we still urge people who have grannies and uncles who are over the age of 60 who are not yet registered to please assist them to get registered.”

“We want to move to the next cohort which will be over 50 and then over 40,” he said.

June 23 2021 - 12:25

Gautengers visit supermarkets, pharmacies in high numbers despite spread of Covid-19

Despite early warnings to avoid public spaces and gatherings, Gauteng experienced a small percentage drop in visits to places such as cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and cinemas.

The Google Covid-19 mobility report for May 8 to June 19 showed there has been a 7% decrease in visits to cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and cinemas compared to the five weeks from January 3 to February 6 2020.

The mobility reports show how visits and length of stay at different places change compared to a baseline.

June 23 2021 - 11:40

Teachers line up for Covid-19 vaccine protection as jabs roll out to school staff

Excitement, relief and some uncertainty. These were the mixed emotions shared by some education department staff who arrived at the Rabasotho community centre in Thembisa to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations on Wednesday.

Minister Angie Motshekga had arrived at the centre to oversee the process. She was joined by education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, who also received his jab at the centre.

Dressed to the nines in all black, with a swanky, sparkling gold brooch, a teacher in her 50s said receiving the Covid-19 vaccine was an “answered prayer”. She preferred not to give her name.

June 23 2021 - 11:13

Gauteng health system ‘heading for catastrophe’

Gauteng clinicians are growing concerned about the worsening threat of a health crisis in the province as the closure of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital drags on.

It has been more than two months since a fire gutted 40% of the hospital’s intensive care beds and destroyed R40m worth of medical consumables.

The fire, which ripped through Africa’s second biggest hospital on April 16, has left Gauteng 1,068 hospital beds short in the midst of the third wave of Covid-19 infections.

June 23 2021 - 11:00

Vaccines for teachers: How free Uber rides for teachers work and four things you need to know about the rollout

Ride-hailing service Uber SA is offering 100,000 free rides to help school staff get vaccinated from Wednesday.

The vaccine rollout programme for school staff kicked off on Wednesday and is set to run until July 8.

To support government and reduce transport barriers for those needing to access the vaccine, Uber SA has vowed to transport school staff to and from vaccination sites.

June 23 2021 - 10:48

Lesufi encourages teachers to get the jab and make up for lost time, protect pupils

The vaccination of Gauteng teachers got under way on Wednesday, with just a few glitches reported in the morning.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said a vaccination site in Roodepoort had to close because of a burst water pipe, but the education team was trying to find a new location.

And there was a vaccine delivery mix-up. “There are areas in the south [of Johannesburg] where the vaccine which was delivered was the opposite of the vaccine which was supposed to be delivered,” Lesufi said.

June 23 2021 - 10:28

From game-changer to backup: J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine struggles in Europe

At the height of Europe’s vaccine supply crisis in March, Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) single-dose Covid-19 vaccine was touted as a game-changer. However, two months into its rollout, the shot has the lowest uptake of all four approved vaccines.

Supply problems, safety concerns, improved deliveries of rival vaccines and countries’ inoculation strategies have all played a part in holding back usage.

Despite the shot’s clear logistical advantage of not requiring a booster, the EU has only administered about half of the delivered doses. This is an uptake rate much lower than any rival Covid-19 vaccine, including AstraZeneca’s, which has also been dogged by supply and safety issues.

June 23 2021 - 10:00

Discovery Health CEO suggests Gauteng 'circuit-breaker' or 'short lockdown' to curb Covid-19 spike

As Gauteng battles with a surge in Covid-19 cases, Discovery Health says the province needs a “circuit-breaker” or “short-term lockdown” to try to change the trajectory of infections .

Over the last few weeks, concerns about the daily infections in Gauteng have intensified, resulting in 60 SA National Defence Force (SANDF) health personnel being deployed to help healthcare professionals in the province. They will be rotated to assist where the need is greatest.

Speaking on CapeTalk, Discovery Health CEO Dr Ryan Noach said there were higher peaks in Gauteng of new infections than there have been in any of the previous waves.

June 23 2021 - 09:00

Level 5 lockdown on the cards for Gauteng? Malema claims that is Ramaphosa’s plan

EFF leader Julius Malema has claimed President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering imposing a hard lockdown in Gauteng to deal with the surge in Covid-19 cases.

Speaking to Newzroom Afrika on Tuesday, Malema said: “The man is looking at taking us back to level 5 for 21 days. That is what he is considering. [David] Makhura has no power to take the province anywhere in terms of regulations. It is the president himself.

“He wants to lock us up again for 21 days in level 5. We’re not going back there,” said Malema.

June 23 2021 - 08:00

‘There are no vaccines, people are dying’ — Mbalula gets dragged after sharing third wave advice

Transport minister Fikile Mbalula’s plea for vigilance amid rising Covid-19 infections was met with calls for a speedy vaccine rollout as scores fear for their lives.

SA is seeing a surge in Covid-19 infections as it battles its third wave.

Mbalula took to Twitter on Tuesday to urge South Africans to wear masks and hand sanitise to prevent the spread of infections.

June 23 2021 - 07:55

Pandemic is rolling back democracy gains in Africa, says Mo Ibrahim

The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated a deterioration in democracy in Africa and the continent may require a fresh crop of statesmen to boost participation, philanthropist Mohammed Ibrahim said.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, a gauge popular with investors seeking opportunities in the continent, has shown some improvement over the past 10 to 15 years, Ibrahim said in an interview at the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday. However, measures of democracy and participation have either stagnated or declined, he said.

“On the balance, things deteriorated,” Ibrahim said.

June 23 2021 - 06:05

Brazil reports 87,822 new coronavirus cases, 2,131 deaths

Brazil recorded 87,822 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, along with 2,131 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

Brazil has registered more than 18 million cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 504,717, according to ministry data. 

-REUTERS

June 23 2021 - 06:00

NPO workers running on empty as Covid-19 batters their mental health

While non-profit organisations have been working tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic to provide support, emergency relief and life-saving resources to struggling South Africans, the mental health of their workers has taken a battering.

A survey conducted among 200 NPOs between October 2020 and March this year by the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) and Tshikululu Social Investments to assess the affect of the pandemic on their wellbeing, found alarming rates of psychological distress and risk for mental illness.

“While NPO workers continue to provide crucial services for those deeply affected by Covid-19, they are still having to maintain their own needs — all within a context of limited resources, sustained exposure to social suffering, and novel pandemic conditions,” said Sadag.

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