COVID-19 WRAP | SA Covid-19 death toll rises to 63,039

07 July 2021 - 06:05 By TimesLIVE
Workers load a newly-refilled oxygen tank to be distributed free to hospitals at the Oxygen Rescue Commander Post built at the National Monument (Monas) complex as Indonesia experiences an oxygen supply shortage amid a surge of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 6, 2021.
Workers load a newly-refilled oxygen tank to be distributed free to hospitals at the Oxygen Rescue Commander Post built at the National Monument (Monas) complex as Indonesia experiences an oxygen supply shortage amid a surge of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 6, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

July 07 2021 - 20:42

Covid-19 cases spike to 21,400 in 24 hours as 411 deaths are recorded

SA saw a jump in the number of Covid-19 infections on Wednesday, with 21,427 new cases recorded in 24 hours.

This was higher than the 15,501 recorded on Tuesday, the 12,513 recorded on Monday and the 16,585 recorded on Sunday. It was the first time since July 3 (26,485 cases) that there were more than 20,000 infections recorded in a single day.

In their daily statistical update, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said that the new cases came from at a positivity rate of 30.3%.

July 07 2021 - 18:46

Joburg restaurants face ruin if booze restrictions continue: property group

Embattled restaurants in Joburg may have to shut their doors if the government extends the booze ban.

Many businesses were struggling to catch up on rent arrears when the latest level 4 restrictions were implemented, placing them in financial jeopardy, said Michelle Dickens, CEO of property group TPN.

“These latest restrictions — which some analysts predict may be extended beyond the initial two weeks announced by President Ramaphosa — are not being accompanied by any plans from the government to provide financial support for businesses affected by the restrictions,” Dickens said.

July 07 2021 - 18:38

IEC postpones voter registration weekend over third-wave fears

The Electoral Commission has postponed the voter registration by two weeks to the end of July, citing the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping through the country.

“At a special meeting today [Wednesday], the commission resolved to reschedule the voter registration weekend from July 17 and 18 to the weekend of July 31 and August 1,” said the commission.

It said the decision was made after a review of the prevailing conditions, including the rate of Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations over the past seven days and the pandemic's affect on preparations for the registration weekend.

July 07 2021 - 17:18

Healthcare workers less likely to die than non-healthcare workers after contracting Covid-19: study

A new study has found that healthcare workers (HCWs) were less likely to die after being hospitalised with Covid-19 than non-healthcare workers, although mortality was proportionally higher among frontline workers in the early days of the pandemic.

The study — led by researchers from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), Right to Care, National Institute for Occupational Health, Wits University and University of Johannesburg — also showed that in-hospital mortality among healthcare workers was associated with age, race, comorbidities and health sector, as well as when the infection occurred.

July 07 2021 - 17:17

Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina tests positive for Covid-19

Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating at home, his office said on Wednesday.

“Masina undertook to take a Covid-19 test after experiencing mild symptoms yesterday [Tuesday],” said his spokesperson Phakamile Mbengashe.

He said Masina received his results on Wednesday, and that all those who were in contact with him had been advised to self-isolate or test.

July 07 2021 - 16:58

KZN 'approaching danger' as five districts cross third-wave line

The KwaZulu-Natal government warned on Wednesday that five districts in the province had crossed the third-wave line.

This followed meetings of the provincial executive council and the provincial command council.

According to a statement issued by the provincial government, the council's latest report on the Covid-19 infection rate in KwaZulu-Natal “paints a bleak picture and an approaching danger as districts cross the third-wave line”.

July 07 2021 - 16:35

Advertising watchdog needled by PPE firm’s anti-vax Bill Gates billboard

A company that sells medical supplies and personal protective equipment has been castigated by the advertising watchdog for an anti-vaccination billboard.

Sanitise PPE, which trades as San-I-tize, erected the billboard featuring a photograph of Bill Gates on the side of its building next to the M5 in Maitland, Cape Town.

It attracted a host of negative press as well as a fine under Cape Town's outdoor advertising bylaw, because it was unauthorised, and now the Advertising Regulatory Board has upheld a complaint about it.

July 07 2021 - 16:35

Government considering expanding vaccination rollout to other age groups

In a bid to ramp up SA's vaccination rollout, the government is again considering expanding access to another age group, acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said on Wednesday.

Ntshavheni said the national coronavirus command council (NCCC) met on Tuesday, where it received updates around the management of Covid-19 infections sweeping through the country.

As of Tuesday night, there had been 62,628 Covid-19 related deaths recorded across SA since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March last year. There had also been 2,090,909 cases since the outbreak, of which 15,501 of them were in the preceding 24 hours.

July 07 2021 - 13:10

‘I will vaccinate when my age group is opened’: Kubayi clears the air on ‘special vaccinations’ circular

Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has set the record straight regarding a circular which approves the vaccination of politicians before their age cohort.

The letter made the rounds on social media on Tuesday and sparked wide-ranging criticism and outrage as scores questioned the preference of politicians.

July 07 2021 - 12:37

Low wastage of Covid-19 vaccines in Gauteng at 0.12%

Only 499 (0.12%) out of 420,000 Covid-19 vaccines have been wasted or spoiled in Gauteng as at the end of June.

This was according to Gauteng health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to questions from DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom in the Gauteng legislature.

“I asked questions on this issue because stories are rife about vaccines supposedly going to waste for different reasons. I congratulate our health workers for keeping vaccine wastage so low. This shows that when South Africans work together for a greater goal we can make things work,” said Bloom.

July 07 2021 - 12:33

Slight change to interprovincial travel in and out of Gauteng — here’s what is allowed

A slight change has been made to the regulations for leisure travel in Gauteng, allowing hunters to cross the province’s border to obtain “meat for consumption”.

Environmental affairs minister Barbara Creecy published the change in a short government gazette for the biodiversity sector this week.

The purpose of the gazette is to iron out the minor details of what is currently permitted by the sector under level 4 lockdown and to suspend the application of the directions for live biodiversity auctions.

July 07 2021 - 12:23

WATCH | ‘Anxiety will be the death of us’ — Somizi stressed out by new Covid-19 variants

A recent trip to the shops by media personality Somizi Mhlongo-Motaung made him realise how paranoid he has become and how much more anxious he feels daily when he hears about new Covid-19 variants.

Somizi took to Instagram to share his thoughts with his followers in a video he recorded in his parked car at the mall. The media personality admitted he was feeling paranoid and anxious.

“Hi family. Guys, I’m not OK. Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety is gonna be the death of us, literally! I’m not OK. I’m overly-paranoid and there’s new variants of the virus (almost) every single day.

July 07 2021 - 12:15

'The Lambda variant says hello': SA reacts to UK's plan to end lockdown

The announcement by Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson that he will end the lockdown in the country amid the global Covid-19 pandemic has been met with shock from South Africans. 

During a media briefing on Monday, Johnson detailed the plan, set to take effect on July 19 after a final decision is made on July 12, to end the lockdown and “return to normal”.

He said the restrictions, which see people wear masks, limit social gatherings and travel bans, among others, are taking a toll on people's mental health.

July 07 2021 - 10:50

2,405 police service members vaccinated ahead of national rollout

More than 2,000 police officers have been vaccinated through the vaccination programme, the ministry said on Wednesday.

According to national police spokesperson Col Athlenda Mathe, by Wednesday morning 2,405 officers had been vaccinated ahead of the national rollout on Thursday.

Mathe said 760 members were vaccinated at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, bringing the total number of members vaccinated at the site over the first two days to 1,285.

July 07 2021 - 09:34

184,000 children have tested positive since Covid-19 hit SA

More than 180,000 children have tested positive for Covid-19 in SA since March last year.

The latest surveillance report from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) found that 184,187 South Africans under the age of 19 had tested positive for the coronavirus from March 1 last year to June 19 this year.

“ June 19 2021, individuals aged under 19 years made up 13.4% of SARS-CoV-2 tests, 10.2% of laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases, 4.2% of all Covid-19-associated admissions and 0.7% of deaths associated with Covid-19,” the report stated.

July 7 2021 - 07:00

Can I get Covid-19 if I have had the vaccine?

You can get Covid-19 even after receiving the vaccine.

This has become one of the main concerns among South Africans as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections. 

July 7 2021 - 06:15

Experts breathe life into concerns about using oxygen at home

Medical experts agree that not every Covid-19-positive patient requires oxygen.

Dr Angelique Coetzee, of the South African Medical Association (Sama), has also warned against the growing trend of people self-prescribing oxygen.

By doing this, those needing it in hospital might not be able to get it, she said.

“The problem is that those who don’t require oxygen stockpile it and that affects the supply, with hospitals ending up not having enough for the patients who need it,” she said.

This sentiment was echoed by Olivedale Hospital pulmonologist Dr Frans Skosana, who said oxygen is a drug that needs to be prescribed and monitored. “It doesn’t treat Covid, [it’s] just additional support.”

July 7 2021 - 06:00

Intern doctors go to court to force government to place them in jobs

The conflict between the health department and newly qualified doctors over their internship placements could soon play out in court.