LIVE UPDATES | Restaurants, hairdressers allowed to open - Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril Ramaphosa

June 17 2020 - 20:19

Restaurants, hairdressers allowed to open - Ramaphosa

The pandemic was a global economic crisis, severly disrupting the livelihoods of millions of people, said Ramaphosa.

He added that he had previously indicated the government would look at ways to help some business sectors open up. 

The government has decided to ease lockdown restrictions in the following sectors: Restaurants for sit-down meals, accredited and licensed accommodation, conferences and meetings for business purposes, cinemas and theatres - aligned to limitations on the gathering of people - casinos, personal care services, including hairdressers and beauty services and non-contact sport, while contact sport will be allowed to train.

June 17 2020 - 20:05

We are 'greatly encouraged' by breakthrough in Covid-19 treatment - Ramaphosa

In South Africa, 1674 people have died of Covid-19 and there are 80 412 confirmed coronavirus cases. Of those 34 407 were active cases.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday evening said it was encouraging to hear of a breakthrough in the treatment of Covid-19 through the administration of dexamethasone.

"It [the drug] is also manufactured here in South Africa by one of our pharmaceutical companies," said Ramaphosa.

The department has recommended that this drug be considered for use on patients needing oxygen supply and ventilators, he added.

Ramaphosa said South Africa was using every avenue available to increase our testing capacity.

Dexamethasone has been hailed as a major breakthrough in Covid-19 treatment. According to a recent trial, the low-dose steroid treatment cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators and by a fifth for those on oxygen. While the study is still awaiting peer review, some scientist have welcomed the preliminary results. #covid19 #coronavirus #coronavirustreatment

June 17 2020 - 18:10

Is tonight the night Ramaphosa announces SA's move to 'advanced level 3'?

June 17 2020 - 17:54

Sweden's coronavirus consensus cracks as deaths top 5,000

Sweden on Wednesday passed the grim mark of 5,000 deaths from the new coronavirus, as cracks began to emerge in the political consensus the government has until now enjoyed over its softer approach.

The Public Health Agency said it had recorded 5,041 Covid-19 deaths, giving it the world's fifth highest death rate at 499.1 per million inhabitants.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, a Social Democrat, insisted in a weekend televised interview that hospitalisations were down sharply and Sweden's strategy of not locking down "was not a failure".

The large share of deaths in elderly care homes "has nothing to do with the strategy", he said. "It has to do with failings in society that we are correcting," including basic hygiene deficiencies in many care homes, he added.

- AFP

June 17 2020 - 17:31

Putin has 'disinfection tunnel' to protect him from coronavirus

Visitors meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin at his country residence must first pass through a walk-through device that sprays them with disinfectant to protect him from the coronavirus, officials said.

The measures have provoked anger from some observers, given the authorities have ruled it is safe enough to hold nationwide referendum on July 1.

June 17 2020- 17:22

Sweden to lift travel curbs to 10 European countries from June 30

Sweden will lift its advice against non-essential travel to 10 European countries from June 30, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The countries are Greece, Croatia, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, France, Iceland, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

For other European countries the advice against non-essential travel will still apply. A recommendation against travel to countries outside the EU and the Schengen open-border zone - which groups most EU member states and some non-members - will be extended to August 31.

- Reuters

June 17 2020 - 16:51

Kempton Park magistrate's court shut for cleaning after confirmed Covid-19 case

As the Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Gauteng, the Kempton Park magistrate’s court  had to close its doors on Wednesday morning for deep cleaning after a staff member tested positive for the virus.

Members of the public and police detectives with dockets were met with closed doors when they arrived at the court.

Clad with a department of justice branded mask, an official slightly opened the shiny black door to tell a few members of the public and police officers wanting to enter, that the court would be closed for the day.

June 17 2020 - 14:48

What you need to know about dexamethasone, the 'life-saving Covid-19 drug'

Dexamethasone, a common steroid, could potentially reduce death rates among Covid-19 patients. This is according to clinical results released by UK experts on Tuesday.

Here's what you need to know:

Dexamethasone has been hailed as a major breakthrough in Covid-19 treatment. According to a recent trial, the low-dose steroid treatment cuts the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators and by a fifth for those on oxygen. While the study is still awaiting peer review, some scientist have welcomed the preliminary results.

June 17 2020 - 14:48

KZN municipality closes after 18 staff test positive for Covid-19

The Mthonjaneni municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal temporarily shut its offices on Monday after 18 staff and councillors tested positive for Covid-19. 

A communique issued by the municipal manager on Sunday said the municipality would remain closed until further notice. 

June 17 2020 - 13:13

Mthatha convent devastated as four nuns succumb to Covid-19

Four nuns died within the space of a week of Covid-19 at a convent in Mthatha and 17 others - almost half the little community of 40 - have tested positive.

Two drivers are among those who tested positive for the coronavirus. The outbreak at Mother House Convent in Ikwezi township has left the Roman Catholic Church, the Precious Blood Sisters (CPS) and the public in shock.

June 17 2020 - 13:11

Gauteng has 13,023 Covid-19 cases, 3,716 recoveries and 87 deaths

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Gauteng is 13,023, with 3,716 recoveries and 87 deaths.

Out of a total of 20,518 contacts traced, 13,579 people have completed the 14-day monitoring period with no symptoms reported and therefore are de-isolated, said the health department.

June 17 2020 - 13:09

SA consumers battle to pay bills as job losses rise: TransUnion survey

A new survey by TransUnion shows that job losses are rising, with more than eight out of 10 consumers hurt financially and nine of out 10 concerned about their ability to pay their bills and loans.

Since the study's inception at the beginning of April to the week of May 25, the company said the number of consumers who have lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to increase: 16% of respondents financially affected by the virus have lost their jobs, up from 10% in the first week of April.

June 17 2020 - 13:05

Show me the data: US doctors skeptical of reported Covid-19 breakthrough

The report on Tuesday of a powerful treatment for the new coronavirus brought skepticism along with optimism among US doctors, who said the recent withdrawal of an influential Covid-19 study left them wanting to see more data.

Global pressure to find a cure or vaccine has accelerated the process of reporting coronavirus study results, feeding confusion over whether therapies have been proven effective.

One influential Covid study was withdrawn this month by respected British medical journal The Lancet over data concerns.

-Reuters

June 17 2020 - 12:40

Cigarettes are not returning to shelves this week, says Fita

No, tobacco products, including cigarettes, will not be returning to shelves this week, says the Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (Fita).

Fita debunked a WhatsApp message doing the rounds on social media claiming that the tobacco ban would be lifted and that cigarettes would be sold again from Wednesday.

June 17 2020 - 12:32

WHO moves to update Covid-19 guidance after 'great news' in drug study

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was moving to update its guidelines on treating people stricken with Covid-19 to reflect results of a clinical trial that showed a cheap, common steroid can help save critically ill patients.

Trial results announced on Tuesday showed dexamethasone, used since the 1960s to reduce inflammation in diseases such as arthritis, cut death rates by around a third among the most severely ill Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital.

-Reuters

June 17 2020 - 12:22

Covid-19: Durban high court closes amid row between advocates and chief justice

The Durban high court has been closed until further notice after an administrative staff member tested positive for Covid-19.

The entire court building was being decontaminated and cleaned on Wednesday. Initially legal practitioners were informed that courts would remain open and the general office would relocate from an outside building to one inside the main building.

June 17 2020 - 12:18

Germany's CureVac to launch human trial of experimental coronavirus vaccine - regulator

Unlisted German biotech firm CureVac will become the second company to launch human trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine in the country, Germany's vaccines regulator said on Wednesday.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the watchdog, the Paul Ehrlich Institut, would approve testing on humans of the experimental vaccine.

-Reuters

June 17 2020 - 11:20

Beijing airports cancel 1,255 flights over virus fears

Beijing cancelled at least 1,255 inbound and outbound flights on Wednesday, representing nearly 70 percent of all services, the state-run People's Daily reported, as fears grow over a new coronavirus outbreak.

City officials have urged residents not to leave the city, and several provinces have quarantined travellers from Beijing after more than 130 new cases were confirmed in the capital in recent days.

-AFP

June 17 2020 - 11:19

Dali Mpofu joins Mzansi in poking fun at 'advanced level 3' lockdown

Former EFF national chairperson Dali Mpofu has joined many in poking fun at the government's possible plan to move SA to “advanced level 3" lockdown.

This after small business and development minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni revealed that the country may move to "the advanced stage of level 3 in the next few days".

June 17 2020 - 10:32

India coronavirus toll sees record jump of 2,000 dead

India's official coronavirus death toll leapt by more than 2,000 to reach 11,903 on Wednesday as Germany advised its nationals to consider leaving the country because of growing health risks.

Mumbai revised its toll up by 862 to 3,165 because of unspecified accounting "discrepancies" while New Delhi saw a record jump of more than 400 deaths, taking its total to more than 1,800.

-AFP

June 17 2020 - 10:18

Cape Town springs reopen under strict Covid-19 restrictions

Capetonians can now quench their thirst at the city’s springs.

This is after the city announced this week that springs will open under level 3 of lockdown. But there are conditions - one of them being clean, sanitised hands.

In a statement, Xanthea Limberg, the mayoral committee member for water and waste, said the Newlands and Bradwell springs reopened on Monday.

June 17 2020 - 10:05

EXPLAINED | What is 'advanced level 3' lockdown and what businesses may reopen

SA may move to "advanced level 3" lockdown in the next few days, says minister of small business and development, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni.

According to Ntshavheni, the official decision to move the country to “advanced level 3" will be made on “Wednesday at the latest”, as the government is still waiting on the Health Advisory Council to give its recommendations.

June 17 2020 - 9:54

North West principal, two teachers and admin clerk test positive for Covid-19

Two teachers, a principal and a school administration clerk in North West have tested positive for Covid-19.

The North West education department said the affected schools would be temporarily shut down to undertake the standard procedure of deep cleaning and disinfecting.

June 17 2020 - 8:39

Steroid drug hailed as 'breakthrough' for seriously ill Covid-19 patients

A cheap and widely-used steroid called dexamethasone has become the first drug shown to be able to save the lives of Covid-19 patients in what scientists said is a "major breakthrough" in the coronavirus pandemic.

Trial results announced on Tuesday showed dexamethasone, which is used to reduce inflammation in other diseases such as arthritis, reduced death rates by around a third among the most severely ill Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital.

June 17 2020 - 8:00

Fight Covid-19 like we fought apartheid, Mkhize urges youth

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has paid tribute to the youth of 1976, and has a message for today's youngsters.

Fight the “unseen enemy”: Covid-19.

June 17 2020 - 7:04

Western Cape records 44 more Covid-19 deaths, breakthrough in recovery trial

SA's Covid-19 death toll has climbed to 1,625 with a massive increase in new cases recorded, health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday evening.

The country has recorded a further 57 Covid-19 related deaths: 44 in the Western Cape, nine in the Eastern Cape and four in KwaZulu-Natal.

The cumulative number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in SA is 76,334.

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