Coronavirus morning update: Another hospital outbreak and a huge PPE donation from China



Cases update:

The latest number of confirmed cases is 2 415.

The total number of deaths is at 27.

So far, there have been 87 022 tests conducted.

READ MORE | All the confirmed cases of coronavirus in SA

Latest news:

Twelve staff members, including seven healthcare workers, have tested positive for the coronavirus at Mediclinic Morningside in Sandton, the private hospital group has confirmed.

The hospital has now introduced strict access measures, and will disinfect certain areas. 

Mediclinic chief clinical officer Dr Stefan Smuts said more than 100 potential contacts were tested after one of its staff members was found to have been infected, adding the 12 employees were currently in isolation.

"[They] will remain so until they are fully recovered. In addition, all contacts are now being monitored and isolation protocols stringently applied where relevant."

READ MORE | Covid-19 outbreak at another hospital - this time at Mediclinic Morningside 

The Gauteng health department is trying to build up much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) stock for healthcare workers as it continues to fight the spread of Covid-19, according to Health MEC Bandile Masuku.

This as the Bank of China donated 30 000 PPE units to the department at a ceremony on Tuesday. 

Masuku said the department continues to carefully calculate its PPE needs as circumstances change daily.

"Last week we received some from the [Patrice] Motsepe Foundation and we are still going to announce more this week.

"We have received stock on Saturday, we are receiving stock today, so we are trying to build up the stock… we are trying to get enough stock so that we have enough for all our workers."

READ MORE | Coronavirus: Gauteng health buoyed by huge protective gear donation from China 

The number of prisoners that have tested positive for Covid-19 has risen by 49 cases, following an outbreak at the East London Correctional Centre, the national correctional services department has confirmed.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) said the rise brought the total number of inmate cases to 53, while 23 officials had also tested positive for the virus at the prison.

St Albans Correctional Centre in Port Elizabeth also had its first confirmed case after an official tested positive, while another official at the DCS head office in Tshwane has also been infected.

DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo told News24 that contact tracing is being done with regards to the official from St Albans. At this stage, though, there is no link between St Albans and East London.

READ MORE | Coronavirus: 49 more prisoners test positive in East London prison as outbreak worsens 

South Africa's streets are quiet, but the din of phones ringing at the country's gender-based violence command centre in Tshwane and places of safety around the country is deafening, social workers say. And experts warn that it is likely to get worse.

The call centre receives between 500 and 1 000 calls a day from women and children confined to their homes as part of a 35-day government-mandated lockdown instituted to curb the spike of coronavirus disease cases in the country.

And it's not unexpected.

During the lockdown, aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19, many South Africans are stuck at home with their abusers

READ MORE | Home sweet hell: Calls for help surge from women locked down with abusers 

Social justice, education and children's rights activist groups are calling on the Minister of Basic Education to act swiftly to restore school feeding schemes during the lockdown, GroundUp reports.

In a joint letter to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Equal Education, the Equal Education Law Centre, SECTION27, the Centre for Child Law, and the Children's Institute have made suggestions on how an estimated nine million vulnerable children can continue to access the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP).

For many children, the free school meal was their only meal of the day.

The organisations say that to date, the minister's response has been "disappointing" and "untenable".

READ MORE | Coronavirus: Motshekga urged to restore school feeding schemes during lockdown 

A group of 16 suspects made off with five cash registers, money and groceries when they stormed a supermarket in Gatesville, Athlone, on Tuesday afternoon, Western Cape police have confirmed.

Four people have been arrested.

This was one of three incidents reported in one afternoon in Cape Town which has resulted in "reinforced deployments" following burglaries, looting and pubic violence.

Footage of the incident at Shoprite, which took place at 14:40, showed people running from the supermarket carrying baskets and tossing goods into trolleys as they escaped from the scene.

READ MORE | Looters escape with cash registers, money, groceries after hitting Cape Town supermarket

READ MORE | 'The gun was directly in my face' - multiple shops looted in Manenberg


Cases update:

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

Positive cases worldwide were more than 1.9 million, while the number of deaths were more than 125 000.

There were more than 590 000 cases in the US, and more than 23 000 deaths.

The US still has the highest number of deaths.

READ MORE | All the confirmed cases worldwide

Latest news:

India's nationwide coronavirus lockdown, the biggest in the world, will be extended until at least 3 May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

The current three-week-old lockdown of the nation of 1.3 billion people had been scheduled to end at midnight on Tuesday.

"From the economic angle, we have paid a big price," Modi said in a nationwide address. "But the lives of the people of India are far more valuable."

South Asian nations have so far been relatively unscathed by the epidemic, with around 10 000 cases and 339 deaths in India, according to official figures.

READ MORE | India extends world's biggest virus lockdown to 3 May 

Around 117 million children worldwide risk contracting measles because dozens of countries are curtailing their vaccination programmes as they battle Covid-19, the United Nations warned on Tuesday.

Currently 24 countries, including several already dealing with large measles outbreaks, have suspended widespread vaccinations, the World Health Organization and the UN's children's fund Unicef said.

An additional 13 countries have had their vaccination programmes interrupted due to Covid-19.

In a joint statement, the Measles and Rubella Initiative (M&RI) said it was vital that immunisation capacity was retained during and after the current pandemic.

READ MORE | 117 million children face measles risk from Covid-19 response: UN 

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.

READ MORE | Coronavirus 101

Image credit: Getty Images
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