Wednesday, March 18, 2020

SA has confirmed its first cases of local transmission of Covid-19, three of whom are young children, health minister Zweli Mkhize announced late on Tuesday night as SA’s total climbed to 85.
The development adds to growing concern about the potentially devastating effects the virus will have if it spreads rapidly in poor communities.
While the number of cases of Covid-19 in SA is relatively small compared with many hard-hit countries, the rapid rise in the numbers since the first case was announced on March 5 prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national emergency on Sunday. He  ordered the closure of schools and imposed the most stringent restrictions on travel and mass gathering yet seen on the African continent.
Covid-19 has raced around the world since it emerged in China three months ago, battering financial markets, disrupting trade and travel, and prompting a growing number of countries to impose increasingly tight restrictions to try to slow transmission.
By Tuesday it had sickened 185,067 people in 155 countries and regions, with Italy the hardest hit after China, with close to 28,000 cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Tracker. While most cases of the respiratory disease are mild, it causes severe illness in up to 15% of patients and has already led to more than 7,300 deaths worldwide.
Until now, all the Covid-19 cases in SA have been among people who had travelled internationally. The total stood at 62 on Monday.
Eight of the 23 new cases confirmed since then are people who either have no travel history outside of SA, or no travel history at all, the minister said in a statement.  These cases are in Gauteng (4); KwaZulu-Natal (3) and Western Cape (1).
Mkhize said the government would no longer await confirmation from the National Health Laboratory Service and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases before announcing the results of tests conducted by private laboratories.
There had been a debate with clinicians, epidemiologists and virologists about the timing of the public release of the results, with the experts saying there was an ethical obligation to alert patients as soon as their initial results became available, he said. Until now, tests conducted by private laboratories had to be verified by state laboratories before being announced by the minister.
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“In our efforts to ensure transparency we have decided to release results as they are submitted by both public and private labs. In instances where our confirmation tests give contrary results, we will inform the public, make reference to that specific result previously announced and give the outcome of the confirmation results,” he said in a statement.
“Whilst we respect that private laboratories have the capacity to test and on their own issue results, our intention and approach is to ensure that there is credibility in the information and results given to the public,” he said
Mkhize said all the South African citizens who were repatriated from Wuhan, China, at the weekend had been tested for Covid-19 and all were negative. They are in quarantine at The Ranch hotel near Polokwane.
The latest confirmed cases of Covid-19 are as follows:

GAUTENG: 14 

-A 45-year old male who had travelled to Belgium, UK, France and the US
-A 37-year old male who had travelled to the UK
-A 54-year old female who had travelled to the USA
-A 52-year old male who had travelled to the UK
-A 25-year old male who travelled to the UK
-A 52-year old female who had travelled to Italy
-A 59-year old male who travelled to the UK and Dubai
-A 57-year old male who travelled to the USA
-A 60-year old male who travelled to the USA
-A 37-year old female who travelled to Italy and Dubai
-A 21-year old female with no travel history
-A 34-year old male with no international travel history
-A 26-year old female with no international travel history
-A 32-year old female with no international travel history
KWAZULU-NATAL: 4
-A 48-year old male who travelled to Dubai
-A 59-year old female with no international travel history
-A 5-year old male with no international travel history
-A 3-year old male with no international travel history
WESTERN CAPE: 5
-A 3-year old male who travelled to the UK
-A 58-year old male who travelled to the UK and Austria
-A 2-year old male with no international travel
-A 62-year old female who travelled to the UK and Ethiopia
-A 71-year old female who travelled to the UK

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Current Status of Cases of COVID-19 in South Africa

MARCH 2020

62 confirmed cases
0 deaths

The breakdown per province of *total* infections is as follows:

*GAUTENG: 31*

*WESTERN CAPE: 16*

*KWAZULU-NATAL: 12*

*MPUMALANGA: 2*

*LIMPOPO: 1*

Sa first Positive Case of Covid-19

At this stage, all cases were due to travel and no local transmissions have been confirmed. The NDOH are currently investigating 2 additional cases which may contain internal transmissions.

The patients have now been informed, all information has been verified and contact tracing is underway.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that South Africa has recorded its first positive test case for the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Mkhize released a statement on Thursday confirming that the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NCID) confirmed a positive test.
While it was not clear at which port of entry the patient landed, Mkhize said that a tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal. The man is now self-isolated.
"The patient is a 38-year-old male who travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on 1 March," Mkhize said in the statement.
"The patient consulted a private general practitioner on 3 March with symptoms of fever, headache, malaise, a sore throat and a cough."
The practice nurse then took swabs and delivered it to the laboratory. The patient has been self-isolating since 3 March.
"The couple also has two children. The Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) has identified the contacts by interviewing the patient and doctor. The tracer team has been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal with epidemiologists and clinicians from the NICD."
Mkhize said the doctor has been self-isolated as well.
"This media briefing is to ensure that the public is immediately kept abreast. A press briefing will be held later after the Parliamentary debate this evening to shed more light on this issue."

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Gauteng police have vehemently denied allegations that they failed to intervene and halt a fight that left a Nigerian dead in Ekurhuleni this week. 
The incident unfolded on Monday evening at the corner of Long and Casuarina streets in Kempton Park. 
In a video circulating on Twitter, two men can be seen pushing and punching each other while onlookers and police officers halfheartedly attempt to separate them.
At one point, onlookers manage to restrain the suspect while police move the victim away. The footage shows that the suspect however, breaks free and goes after the victim, hitting him with a brick. 
Chaos ensues after the victim falls to the ground unconscious, with the onlookers attacking the suspect before restraining him, while officers appear to look on helplessly.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Thousands of government school teachers in Malawi stayed away from classrooms on Monday in a protest over the non-payment of their December salaries, their union said.

Around 5,000 teachers did not get their pay after they were removed from the payroll when government started demanding national identity cards to process civil servant salaries.

That measure was introduced by the southern African country in July last year in a bid to get rid of so-called ghost workers - people falsely included on the payroll.

Malawi's teacher union (TUM) claims that most of the unpaid teachers had submitted their identity cards.

"The problem is that there were hitches in the system... which resulted in some of the IDs being rejected" TUM president Willie Malimba told AFP.

In the cities of Blantyre, Zomba and Dedza, thousands of teachers were joined by pupils to march against the delay.

Chanting and waving placards, they blocked access to main roads and gathered at the education ministry district offices.

"We will not take it anymore and we demand our dues," said primary school teacher Chisomo Maotcha protesting in Blantyre.

"This is money we have worked for," she said.The education ministry's principal secretary Justin Saidi downplayed the protest and said payments were being processed.

"We started demanding IDs so that we not pay the wrong people," said Saidi.
Some of those teachers who received their salaries, also joined in the protest in solidarity with their colleagues.

There are around 80,000 teachers working in Malawi government schools.


The police in Mankweng have arrested a 25-year-old suspect in connection with the murder of 24 year old intern doctor Shongile Nkwashu,

whose body was found in her room at Mankweng Hospital on Sunday evening.
Nkwashu was found lying on her bed.

Police say she was already in the early stage of decomposition.Limpopo Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo says the suspect, who is believed to be Nkwashu’s boyfriend, was traced and arrested in Giyani on Monday.

Eskom says it does not expect to have to implement load shedding on Tuesday, as there is sufficient capacity to meet demand in electricity.

In a power alert issued on Monday evening, the struggling utility said the demand for electricity today was lower than forecast and enabled the state owned entity to go through Monday without utilising the open cycle gas turbines, which uses diesel to generate electricity.

The company said ''the system remains constrained with unplanned outages'' or breakdowns at 12 832 MW as of 17:00 this evening.

"We are monitoring the system closely and we will continue to give periodic updates on the status of the power system as things may change at short notice."