COVID-19 WRAP | 17,958 new cases reported in SA
June 26 2021 - 22:46
17,958 new cases reported in SA
There were 17,958 new cases of Covid-19 reported in SA on Saturday, bringing the number of active cases in the country to 152,013.
There were also 157 deaths reported. The total number of deaths now stands at 59,778.
June 26 2021 - 16:32
What to expect when Ramaphosa addresses the nation on Sunday
When President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on Sunday, indications are he is likely to ban gatherings and tighten restrictions on alcohol.
Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi confirmed on Saturday the national coronavirus command council held an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the rapid spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in SA.
TimesLIVE understands that proposals tabled for Gauteng, where infections are increasing exponentially, include a ban on all gatherings, a request that everyone work from home if possible, and a two-week ban on alcohol sales.
June 26 2021 - 15:37
Family meeting called for Sunday after shock news on Covid-19 Delta variant
President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8pm on Sunday after the discovery of the new Delta variant of Covid-19 in SA, the government said on Saturday.
Government spokesperson Phumla Williams confirmed that a special national coronavirus command council (NCCC) meeting was convened to receive a report from the scientists on the prevalence of the Delta variant in SA.
Williams said: “As the result of these developments, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) will convene this afternoon to propose recommendations on the country’s response to both the Delta variant and the continued surge in Covid-19 infections.”
June 26 2021 - 13:32
BREAKING | Delta variant surging in SA, third wave to be worse than second
South Africa's third wave of Covid-19 is on course to surpass the peak of the second wave after the arrival of a new variant of the infection, acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said on Saturday.
The Delta variant, which has caused infections to rampage through India, has been widely detected in tests, said Prof Tulio D'Oliveira, a member of the ministerial advisory committee.
D'Oliveira told a briefing called after an emergency meeting of the national coronavirus command council that the Delta variant was now the dominant strain circulating in SA.
June 26 2021 - 13:11
WATCH LIVE | Acting health minister to give update on SA's third wave response
The acting minister of health, Mmamoloko Kubayi, together with a panel of experts, will provide an update on SA’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic at 1pm on Saturday.
The update takes place amid the third wave of the pandemic that has resulted in a surge of cases nationwide.
June 26 2021 - 12:47
Police vaccinations fast-tracked so Covid-19 enforcement can intensify
Covid-19 vaccinations for the police are being fast-tracked before a crackdown on compliance with Covid-19 regulations, acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi told TimesLIVE on Friday.
The details of 80% of police officers had already been transferred from the public service salary system to the vaccination registration system, said Kubayi. This is the same method used to register teachers.
Kubayi said she hoped to start vaccinating police officers by July 1. “I am really pushing for the police, and you understand that this is because of the current management of the pandemic in Gauteng,” she said, bemoaning the level of compliance with regulations on gatherings, distancing and mask-wearing.
June 26 2021 - 11:43
BREAKING | Covid-19 command council in emergency Saturday meeting as third wave surges
An emergency meeting of the national coronavirus command council was in session on Saturday morning amid concern that SA's third wave of Covid-19 is being driven by the Delta variant of the infection that originally emerged in India.
TimesLIVE understands that proposals tabled by the health department for Gauteng, where infections are increasing exponentially, include a ban on all gatherings, a request that everyone should work from home if possible, and a two-week ban on alcohol sales.
The acting minister in the presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, confirmed the emergency meeting of the command council, which began at 10am. But she would not say what was on the agenda
June 26 2021 - 10:37
Covid-19 halves deportations from SA, but usual culprits head list
The Covid-19 lockdown halved the number of illegal immigrants SA deported.
Only 14,859 people were deported between April 1 2020 and March 31 2021, compared with 29,376 in the previous 12 months, according to home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
Four countries — Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Lesotho — accounted for well over 90% of deportations in both years. But the proportions contributed by some of the quartet changed significantly.
June 26 2021 - 10:20
Eid ‘may have been superspreader that fuelled high Covid-19 deaths among Muslims’
Family and religious gatherings during Ramadan may have inadvertently acted as Covid-19 superspreader events in Muslim communities, some of SA's leading scientists and public health specialists have suggested.
Writing in the South African Medical Journal, the experts said high Covid-19 deaths among Muslims suggested the observation of Eid at the end of Ramadan in May may have had a role in spreading Covid-19.
They said the fact that Muslims constitute 4.9% of Covid-19 deaths nationally when they make up only 1.9% of the population meant the pandemic was taking a disproportionately heavy toll in the Islamic community.
June 26 2021 - 09:21
Sydney's Covid-19 cases grow, more restrictions loom
Australia's New South Wales state reported 29 locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Saturday, with the authorities signalling more restrictions may be imposed on the partially locked Sydney as exposure sites increased.
Saturday's data includes 17 infections in the country's most populous state that were already announced on Friday, taking the number of infections linked to the Bondi outbreak to 80.
Australia has been more highly successful in managing the pandemic than many other advanced economies through swift border closures, social distancing rules and a high community compliance with them, reporting just over 30,400 cases and 910 Covid-19 deaths.