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LIVE | WHO warns of a global Covid-19 'resurgence' as countries ease lockdowns

Healthcare workers at a tent dedicated to the treatment of possible Covid-19 patients at the Tshwane District Hospital.
Healthcare workers at a tent dedicated to the treatment of possible Covid-19 patients at the Tshwane District Hospital.
Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images via Getty Images

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32m ago

'1 in 9 going hungry under lockdown', Covid-19 crisis 'will get worse', warns WHO - International Covid-19 news

Nearly one in nine people in the world are going hungry, with the coronavirus pandemic exacerbating already worsening trends this year, according to a United Nations report.

And the raging coronavirus pandemic has the potential to get far worse if all nations do not adhere to basic healthcare precautions, the World Health Organisation warned.

Meanwhile, the Walt Disney Co. is temporarily closing its Hong Kong Disneyland theme park from 15 July amid rising coronavirus cases in the Chinese-ruled city.

American families were slightly less pessimistic about their finances and jobs in June, but remained concerned about their economic prospects amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey released Monday.

Two lawmakers in Madagascar have died of Covid-19 and at least 25 members of parliament and of the senate have been infected with the virus since the first case was confirmed on the island in March, President Andry Rajoelina said.

Pictured: Jockeys wear masks for a race in Sunbury, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
<strong>'1 in 9 going hungry under lockdown', Covid-19 crisis 'will get worse', warns WHO - International Covid-19 news</strong><br /><br />Nearly one in nine people in the world are going hungry, with the coronavirus pandemic exacerbating already worsening trends this year, according to a United Nations report.<br /><br />And the raging coronavirus pandemic has the potential to get far worse if all nations do not adhere to basic healthcare precautions, the World Health Organisation warned.<br /><br />Meanwhile,&nbsp;the Walt Disney Co. is temporarily closing its Hong Kong Disneyland theme park from 15 July amid rising coronavirus cases in the Chinese-ruled city.<br /><br />American families were slightly less pessimistic about their finances and jobs in June, but remained concerned about their economic prospects amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey released Monday.<br /><br />Two lawmakers in Madagascar have died of Covid-19 and at least 25 members of parliament and of the senate have been infected with the virus since the first case was confirmed on the island in March, President Andry Rajoelina said.<br /><br /><em>Pictured:&nbsp;Jockeys wear masks for a race in Sunbury, England. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)</em>
Read our wrap here

1h ago

Concern over increasing Covid-19 numbers in KZN

While the number of KwaZulu-Natal's Covid-19 cases is nowhere near to what was predicted, the rapid rise in cases and deaths over the last week are cause for concern, Premier Sihle Zikalala has said.

Zikalala said projected ICU admissions were also lower, with 45 patients in ICU and high care.

He added the recent increase in numbers meant more had to be done.
<strong>Concern over increasing Covid-19 numbers in KZN</strong><br /><br />While the number of KwaZulu-Natal's Covid-19 cases is nowhere near to what was predicted, the rapid rise in cases and deaths over the last week are cause for concern, Premier Sihle Zikalala has said.<br /><br />Zikalala said projected ICU admissions were also lower, with 45 patients in ICU and high care.<br /><br />He added the recent increase in numbers meant more had to be done.
Kaveel Singh with this report

2h ago

WHO warns of a global Covid-19 'resurgence': 'Many countries are headed in the wrong direction'

The World Health Organisation warned Monday that there could be no return to normality any time soon as too many countries were bungling their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

After a daily record of 230 000 new cases of Covid-19 were reported to the WHO on Sunday, the UN health agency said the pandemic was only going to get worse unless people stuck to the basics of physical distancing, handwashing and wearing masks.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that countries that were easing their way out of lockdowns were now witnessing a resurgence of the virus because they were not following proven methods to reduce risk.
<strong>WHO warns of a global Covid-19 'resurgence': 'Many countries are headed in the wrong direction'</strong><br /><br />The World Health Organisation warned Monday that there could be no return to normality any time soon as too many countries were bungling their response to the coronavirus pandemic.<br /><br />After a daily record of 230 000 new cases of Covid-19 were reported to the WHO on Sunday, the UN health agency said the pandemic was only going to get worse unless people stuck to the basics of physical distancing, handwashing and wearing masks.<br /><br />WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that countries that were easing their way out of lockdowns were now witnessing a resurgence of the virus because they were not following proven methods to reduce risk.
Read the story here

2h ago

Covid-19 surge coming at a lower level than initially predicted - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Monday said as the country enters its Covid-19 surge, it will come at a level lower than what had been initially expected.

"The data shows the surge will come in July, August and September, but at a lower level than what had been predicted," he said during a media briefing on Monday afternoon.

The reason, said Mkhize, is down to government's early interventions, including a hard lockdown in March.

"It's not inevitable that whatever was predicted is actually what's going to happen, and so we can have the surge at a lower level even though the peak is now. But it may not necessarily be at the worst, pessimistic scenario," Mkhize explained.

He again used the opportunity to implore people to change their social behaviour in the midst of the pandemic.

"The imposition of the curfew is also strongly related to nocturnal activities and alcohol use. This has more to do with inherent activities in people’s free time at night that makes it more difficult to adhere to the regulations," said Mkhize.

"As a reminder, wearing of masks is about you protecting others more than it is about preventing yourself from catching the virus," he said.

The health minister also provided clarity on the ICU beds shortage matter, saying his department is on top of the issue.

"We haven’t reached the capacity of ICU beds... The national emergency intervention team is looking at increasing the number of beds. We are confident we can provide enough beds before the surge."

Also at the briefing was Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu who gave an update on the payment of the special Covid-19 social relief of distress grant.

Zulu revealed that over 7.5 million applications were received by her department through various electronic application platforms. Of this number, a total of 4 424 720 have been approved.

While there has been significant progress - over R1 billion has been paid - Zulu revealed that issues such as slow processing of applications, and a high number of declined applicants, have made it difficult to reach their desired targets.

"Given the limited financial resources available, we have to ensure that the money does reach only those who qualify for this support," she said.     

<p><strong>Covid-19 surge coming at a lower level than initially predicted - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize</strong></p><p>Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Monday said as the country enters its Covid-19 surge, it will come at a level lower than what had been initially expected.</p><p>"The data shows the surge will come in July, August and September, but at a lower level than what had been predicted," he said during a media briefing on Monday afternoon.</p><p>The reason, said Mkhize, is down to government's early interventions, including a hard lockdown in March.</p><p>"It's not inevitable that whatever was predicted is actually what's going to happen, and so we can have the surge at a lower level even though the peak is now. But it may not necessarily be at the worst, pessimistic scenario," Mkhize explained.</p><p>He again used the opportunity to implore people to change their social behaviour in the midst of the pandemic.</p><p>"The imposition of the curfew is also strongly related to nocturnal activities and alcohol use. This has more to do with inherent activities in people’s free time at night that makes it more difficult to adhere to the regulations," said Mkhize.</p><p>"As a reminder, wearing of masks is about you protecting others more than it is about preventing yourself from catching the virus," he said.</p><p>The health minister also provided clarity on the ICU beds shortage matter, saying his department is on top of the issue.</p><p>"We haven’t reached the capacity of ICU beds... The national emergency intervention team is looking at increasing the number of beds. We are confident we can provide enough beds before the surge."</p><p>Also at the briefing was Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu who gave an update on the payment of the special Covid-19 social relief of distress grant.</p><p>Zulu revealed that over 7.5 million applications were received by her department through various electronic application platforms. Of this number, a total of 4 424 720 have been approved.</p><p>While there has been significant progress - over R1 billion has been paid - Zulu revealed that issues such as slow processing of applications, and a high number of declined applicants, have made it difficult to reach their desired targets.</p><p>"Given the limited financial resources available, we have to ensure that the money does reach only those who qualify for this support," she said.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p>

6h ago

'Dear Angie, you don't know what we're going through': Teacher shares an emotional open letter

A teacher has approached Parent24 to anonymously share her heartbreaking experiences of returning to school under immense pressures and fears.

In her no holds barred letter to Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, she shares her daily battles of teaching children in a potentially unsafe environment. 

Read the letter here

6h ago

You won’t be arrested for not wearing a mask – but this may change

While wearing an "appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth" in a public place is mandatory, it is still not a criminal offence to go without, government confirmed on Monday.

"It must be embarrassing to move around without a mask. It must be cool to wear a mask," Ronald Lamola, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, said on Monday.

<p><strong>You won’t be arrested for not wearing a mask – but this may change</strong></p><p>While wearing an "appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth" in a public place is mandatory, it is still not a criminal offence to go without, government confirmed on Monday.</p><p>"It must be embarrassing to move around without a mask. It must be cool to wear a mask,"&nbsp;Ronald&nbsp;Lamola, Minister&nbsp;of&nbsp;Justice&nbsp;and Correctional Services, said on Monday.<strong></strong></p>
Tap here for more

7h ago

AfriForum withdraws court application dealing with Covid-19 quarantine facilities

Lobby group AfriForum has withdrawn its High Court application dealing with the repatriation of South Africans and the quality of quarantine facilities.

National Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize visited Thusong Multipurpose Centre in Khayelitsha which will serve as a Covid-19 site. (Brenton Geach, Gallo Images)

<p><strong>AfriForum withdraws court application dealing with Covid-19 quarantine facilities</strong></p><p>Lobby group AfriForum has withdrawn its High Court application dealing with the repatriation of South Africans and the quality of quarantine facilities.</p><p></p><p>National Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize visited Thusong
Multipurpose Centre in Khayelitsha which will serve as a Covid-19 site. (Brenton
Geach, Gallo Images)

</p>
READ MORE ON NEWS24

7h ago

South Africa has thousands of potential Covid-19 quarantine hotels, but they're empty

Only a third - 139 out of 438 - of the government-approved facilities, where people who may have been exposed to the new coronavirus can quarantine at no cost, have occupied beds.

Nine out of 10 of such facilities are hotels, bed and breakfasts or lodges from which the state rents rooms for between R850 and R1 200 per person per night.

GET THE DETAILS HERE

7h ago

Zikalala reveals 25 people at KwaZulu-Natal wedding infected, some 'occupying Covid-19 beds'

At least 25 people who attended a wedding in KwaZulu-Natal last week have tested positive for Covid-19, with some of them now occupying hospital beds, Premier Sihle Zikalala has said.

READ MORE ON NEWS24

8h ago

For public comments, email comments@hsrc.ac.za

8h ago

Mthembu thanks members of the media for their role in allowing the government to communicate with South Africans

8h ago

Lamola: It must be embarrassing to move around without a mask, must be cool to wear a mask - says they had been reluctant to criminalise the issue but people have been reckless. Tweet from @tshidi_lee

8h ago

Lamola says in the development of the issues of the masks in the first regulations there was no offence, no penalty, encouraged public participation. Tweet from @tshidi_lee

8h ago

Mthembu calls for community and social mobilisation for people to wear masks.

8h ago

All of us must be our brothers' and our sisters' keepers, says Mthembu.  

Everyone must wear a mask.  Shop owners must ensure that all their customers must wear a mask

<p>All of us must be our brothers' and our sisters' keepers,
says Mthembu.

&nbsp;
</p><p>Everyone must wear a mask.&nbsp;

Shop owners must ensure that all their customers must wear a
mask

</p>

8h ago

On what the president said last night, we are here, says Mthembu

8h ago

Lamola says that the department of health provided ministers with statistics regarding impact on the health sector
Lamola says that the department of health provided ministers
with statistics regarding impact on the health sector

8h ago

Mthembu says transport questions will be answered by the relevant minister tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10:00

8h ago

Lamola on consultations: he says they deem it necessary for people to still have comments but the regulations are applicable immediately.

"Can still consult while regulations are enforced." Tweet from @tshidi_lee

8h ago

Dlamini-Zuma declines to expand on harm of tobacco as the "matter is still in court".  

Directs funding support question to minister for industry.  

Says that graphs show majority of people who get Covid are young, but the majority of those who die are the older ones.

8h ago

Lamola says while enforcement will be heightened at night during a curfew.

You can be asked to explain where you are going during the day. Tweet from @tshidi_lee

8h ago

Lamola speaking now. Says the issue with family visitations is that its a difficult space to manage... hugs, kisses and has been used to allow for house parties to take place. Tweet from @tshidi_lee

8h ago

Minister Ronald Lamola says the government has said older people (above 60) should stay at home. Younger people pose a risk to older people.  

In the house, there is an unregulated space. It is a difficult environment to deal with and it is this space that creates a loophole that has led to some of the spike in the various parts of the country.

<p>Minister Ronald Lamola says the government has said older
people (above 60) should stay at home. Younger people pose a risk to older
people.

&nbsp;

</p><p>In the house, there is an unregulated space. It is a
difficult environment to deal with and it is this space that creates a loophole
that has led to some of the spike in the various parts of the country. 

</p>

8h ago

Q & A time. No direct calls today. Tweet from @tshidi_lee

8h ago

All the regulations are from Cabinet, says Minister Jackson Mthembu

8h ago

Covid-19 wrap: Over 12.83m global infections, 60 000 new US cases and Mexico death toll leapfrogs Italy

Keeping you up to date on the latest novel coronavirus (Covid-19) news from around the world.

GET THE FULL UPDATE

8h ago

There will be an email for people to comment, says Dlamini-Zuma

8h ago

Dlamini-Zuma says the government is taking all these measures to ensure that the nation does not perish
Dlamini-Zuma says the government is taking all these
measures to ensure that the nation does not perish

9h ago

Dlamini Zuma says beach visit remain prohibited because of how full they get. Tweet from @tshidi_lee

9h ago

Dlamini-Zuma: I want to stress that this is really a fight against Covid-19. We are number 25 in terms of population size [but] we are number 10 at the number of infections. We have to do everything to protect this beautiful nation of ours.

9h ago

Family visits under exceptional circumstances are allowed, says Dlamini-Zuma.

Inter-provincial travel is still not allowed, she emphasises. We know that areas that are densely populated tend to be the areas that are economic hubs and are the ones who have most infections.

9h ago

Dlamini Zuma: Social distancing still remains, it all our responsibility that social distancing is kept. Social gathering and activities are still not allowed.

9h ago

Dlamini-Zuma: We must avoid activities that do not lend themselves to safety protocols such as social distancing. That is why social gatherings are still not allowed. 

9h ago

Dlamini-Zuma: The announcements by the president yesterday were to assist us, all of us to be able to combat this virus & to slow down the spread of the virus.

9h ago

Dlamini-Zuma reminds all and sundry that "it is mandatory to wear a face mask, to protect ourselves and the people around us". 

11h ago

Ramaphosa calls out South Africans for 'reckless' behaviour during Covid-19 regulations

"But seriously, a cloth mask is not something that is difficult to get. Even your T-shirt, even your scarf, even a piece of your clothing can be put over your nose and your mouth," President Cyril Ramaphosa gave a stern dressing-down to South Africans.

In an unfamiliar tone, Ramaphosa delivered a sharp reprimand to South Africans who refuse to abide by Covid-19 regulations during his address to the nation on Sunday evening.

Read the report here

14h ago

Coronavirus morning update: Alcohol banned again, and curfew also imposed

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that alcohol will be banned again with immediate effect in order to lessen the strain on hospital beds - and a curfew will be imposed again.

<p><strong>Coronavirus morning update: Alcohol banned again, and curfew also imposed</strong></p><p>President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that alcohol will be banned again with immediate effect in order to lessen the strain on hospital beds - and a curfew will be imposed again.<strong></strong></p>
READ MORNING UPDATE

15h ago

Bara hospital treated almost 3 000 patients in its trauma unit in June

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg, treated close to 3 000 patients in its trauma unit during June.

Statistics compiled by the Gauteng Department of Health, and shared with News24, show that between the period of 1 to 30 June, the trauma unit treated 2 730 patients.

READ MORE

12 July 21:09

In his address on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that while the country would remain on Level 3 of the lockdown regulations, the sale and distribution of alcohol was immediately banned.

In addition, he announced that a curfew from 21:00 to 04:00 would take effect from Monday.

He also said that the national state of disaster will be extended to 15 August.

Owners of public buildings, and public transport operators would be legally obliged to ensure that people on their premises wore masks.

"Employers, shop owners and managers, public transport operators, and managers and owners of any other public building are now legally obliged to ensure that anyone entering their premises or vehicle must be wearing a mask," Ramaphosa said.

Visiting family and other social gatherings was still not permitted but auctions could resume, provided the necessary restrictions were in place.

Parks would be opened for exercise, but not for gatherings.

South Africa saw an increase of 12 058 Covid-19 cases bringing the total to 276 242.

There are 108 new deaths, taking the death toll to 4 079.

More than 134 000 recoveries have been reported.

Ramaphosa condemned "reckless" South Africans who refused to wear masks, attended parties and those who failed to adhere to the minimum of 50 attendees at funerals.

Taxis undertaking local trips will now be permitted to increase their capacity to 100%, while long distance taxis will not be allowed to exceed 70% occupancy.

Health facilities in numerous provinces were under tremendous strain, with the president confirming a shortfall of at least 12 000 healthcare workers.

READ THE FULL SPEECH HERE

12 July 17:16

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation on Sunday at 20:00 on developments in South Africa’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of Covid-19.

The president’s address follows a number of meetings of the Cabinet, the National Coronavirus Command Council and the President's Coordinating Council.

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