Coronavirus morning update: PPE tender allegations 'eroded trust', NZ 100 days with no virus cases

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN SA

Cases update: 

The latest number of confirmed cases is 559 858.

According to the latest update, 10 408 deaths have been recorded in the country.

There have been 411 147 recoveries.

So far, a total number of over 3.2 million tests have been conducted, with 30 318 new tests reported.

READ MORE | All the confirmed cases of coronavirus in SA

Latest news:

Corruption allegations relating to the procurement of Covid-19 supplies have eroded trust between the state and citizens, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation said in a statement.

Several tender-related reports have emerged over the last few weeks on the involvement of the families of ANC members in the procurement of Covid-19 supplies.

President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko took a leave of absence, pending investigations into allegations involving her and her husband; Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife were asked to "step aside"; former Gauteng premier and ANC NEC member Nomvula Mokonyane's daughter, Katleho, also reportedly benefitted; and PPE tenders worth millions of rand have reportedly been awarded to people who have ties to ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

It believed that with each allegation, the trust deficit widened between the state and those "who may be enticed to grow the economy". Should investors not be willing to assist in rebuilding the economy after the pandemic, reducing systemic inequality would be significantly more challenging, it said.

The foundation referenced words by Archbishop Desmond Tutu from 1998: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and there is no way in which you can assume that yesterday's oppressed will not become tomorrow's oppressor. We have seen it happen all over the world, and we shouldn't be surprised if it happens here;"

READ MORE | Covid-19 corruption could hamper economic recovery - Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation 

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) resumed on Saturday after a 145-day coronavirus-induced shutdown with Bloemfontein Celtic reaching the Nedbank Cup final behind closed doors.

The semi-final at Orlando Stadium in Soweto saw Celtic score in first-half stoppage time after Baroka had a man sent off, and twice more during the second half for a 3-0 win.

After Namibian Ananias Gebhardt was red-carded for a late, studs-up tackle, captain Ndumiso Mabena put Celtic ahead and substitute Sepana Letsoalo netted twice in the closing stages.

The teams walked separately on to the pitch, which resembled a dustbowl in parts after several months without rain, then stood still and clapped to honour coronavirus victims.

But unlike footballers in the major European leagues, they did not take a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement that seeks racial equality.

READ MORE | Football restarts in virus-hit South Africa with Bloem Celtic, Mamelodi Sundowns victories

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE REST OF THE WORLD

Cases update:

For the latest global data, follow this interactive map from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

Late on Sunday night, positive cases worldwide were over 19.7 million, while deaths were more than 728 000.

The United States had the most cases in the world - over 5 million, as well as the most deaths - more  than 162 600.

READ MORE | All the confirmed cases worldwide

Latest news:

New Zealand marked 100 days on Sunday with no recorded cases of the coronavirus in the community, but health officials warned there was no room for complacency.

There are still 23 active cases, but all were detected at the border when entering the country and are being held in managed isolation facilities.

"Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can't afford to be complacent," director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said.

"We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand."

READ MORE | Covid-19 wrap: 19.72m global cases, NZ hits 100-day milestone, 7 die in India Covid-19 facility fire

LATEST RESEARCH

One of the stranger phenomena of Covid-19 is that men have been proven to be at higher risk of severe Covid-19 than women – and the answer might lie in female hormones.

It is known that oestrogen, the female sex hormone, allows for stronger immune responses to viral infections, including coronaviruses.

But, does this also apply Covid-19?

A new preprint study from King's College London, that still needs to be peer-reviewed, aimed to find this out by comparing menopausal women to younger women with higher levels of oestrogen. Oestrogen levels decrease when women reach menopause, which generally happens between the ages of 40 and 60.

READ MORE | Your contraceptive pill may be protecting you against the coronavirus, according to a study 

Although scientists haven't nailed down how the new coronavirus jumped to humans, a new study confirms mosquitoes aren't to blame – and you won't get Covid-19 from a mosquito bite.

"While the World Health Organization has definitively stated that mosquitoes cannot transmit the virus, our study is the first to provide conclusive data supporting the theory," said study author Stephen Higgs. He is director of the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

The researchers found that the new coronavirus can't replicate in three common species of mosquitoes – Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus – and therefore cannot be transmitted to humans.

The study was published recently in the journal Scientific Reports.

READ MORE | Something mosquitoes don't spread: Coronavirus

HEALTH TIPS (as recommended by the NICD and WHO)

• Maintain physical distancing – stay at least one metre away from somebody who is coughing or sneezing

• Practise frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as your hands touch many surfaces and could potentially transfer the virus

• Practise respiratory hygiene – cover your mouth with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to dispose the tissue immediately after use.

Image credit: Getty Images

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