LIVE | Covid-19 in SA: Death toll rises by 93 as cases hit 1 832 479

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21 June 19:07

SA's latest Covid-19 numbers

The number of cases has increased by 9 160, taking the total to 1 832 479. There have been 93 new deaths, according to the NICD.

The death toll is 58 795. 

The country has conducted 36 858 tests in the past 24 hours.

The total number of vaccinations is at 2 144 204. There have been 2 580 vaccinations in the past 24 hours.

21 June 16:19

FIN24 | Ramaphosa accuses Big Pharma of 'selfish, unjust' vaccine policy

In unusually impassioned remarks, Cyril Ramaphosa lambasted a resistance to calls by India and South Africa for temporary patent waivers to ramp up production.

"It is selfish, it is unjust, it is wholly unfair," Ramaphosa, proponent of the waiver, told the opening virtual session of the Qatar Economic Forum, a day after South Africa registered 13 000 new cases in a third Covid-19 wave.

<p><strong>FIN24 | Ramaphosa accuses Big Pharma of 'selfish, unjust' vaccine policy</strong></p><p>In unusually impassioned remarks, Cyril Ramaphosa lambasted a resistance to calls by India and South Africa for temporary patent waivers to ramp up production.</p><p>"It is selfish, it is unjust, it is wholly unfair," Ramaphosa, proponent of the waiver, told the opening virtual session of the Qatar Economic Forum, a day after South Africa registered 13 000 new cases in a third Covid-19 wave.<strong></strong></p>
Read more here

21 June 15:09

Makhura: We are in conversation with religious leaders and liquor traders to rally everyone around the message that the pandemic is out of control. He said he is willing to have discussions that  province of Gauteng needs to go to into a harder lockdown.

Lwandile Bhengu

21 June 15:01

Makhura says they are working with the NICD to conduct antigen testing on people who are under Covid-19 investigation. He says this group of people is taking up a number of beds.

Lwandile Bhengu

21 June 14:45

Makhura says they will welcome any kind of support from national government. He says the province is not at the peak of the third wave yet but has breached the highest peak of the second wave by 2 000 infections. 

The Premier says given where we are in the pandemic and if he could he would walk into Charlotte Maxeke Hospital and open it today because of the much needed additional beds.

- Lwandile Bhengu

21 June 14:42

Makhura says gatherings, no matter how small are dangerous: "Where we are with the pandemic 10 people are 10 dangerous people".

"This battle will not be one with healthcare workers alone. The general mobility of people in the province is not giving the sense that they are aware of the danger we are in."

Lwandile Bhengu

21 June 14:39

Makhura says staff from the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, which is currently closed have been deployed to other hospitals to help deal with the pressure on the health system. Makhura says all hospitals have gone back to see where they can add additional beds. He adds that staffing is a critical issue in both the private and public sector.

Lwandile Bhengu

21 June 14:34

The Military Health Service team deployed to Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital will be vaccinated tomorrow. Makhura says there are 96 Covid-19 patients at the hospital.

Lwandile Bhengu

21 June 14:32

Makhura met with the Netcare team last night who informed him that private hospitals are full. He says both private and public hospitals are facing the same issues. Makhura says the department of health has been given R1.5 billion to additional staffing.

- Lwandile Bhengu

21 June 14:29

Makhura says the province needs more help in the third wave than it needed in the first and second wave.

"As a premier I don't want to send a message saying everything is okay. I want to say to the people of the province: The house is on fire". 

Makhura says he has noticed that restaurants continue to be full and activities like soccer tournaments in communities are continuing.

- Lwandile Bhengu

21 June 14:26

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says the province is on fire with Covid-19 and the chance of infection is high but the province will continue to fight the battle to continue Covid-19.

Lwandile Bhengu

21 June 14:25

Gauteng Health MEC says the province managed to contain the pandemic because the people of Gauteng complied with regulations and what we are seeing right now is very different from the first and second wave.

The Military Health Services is expecting to be up and running at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital within 48 hours.

Lwandile Bhengu

21 June 13:03

Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi will today welcome a delegation from the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) deployed to Gauteng as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the province.

The SANDF will augment the staff compliment in the province, in addition to the over 5 000 Covid-19 posts already filled as part of the human resource addition in health facilities in response to the pandemic.

21 June 12:50

Covid-19: Electronic bed management dashboard launched to help Gauteng as infections surge

The province continues to bear the brunt of the third wave, with 66% of the 13 155 new cases as of Sunday reported in Gauteng. This translates to an increase of 8 640 cases as of Sunday.

On Wednesday, the province surpassed the highest recorded daily number of infections, in both the first and second waves, when 7 859 new infections were recorded.

Read here

21 June 12:48

HEALTH24 |The EVDS will schedule your appointments for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 6 weeks apart. Here’s why

In South Africa, people who received their first shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine will now have to wait six weeks before returning for the second jab.

Until last week, the Pfizer vaccines were the main jabs being rolled out in South Africa - with just over 1.5-million people receiving their first shot. 

Tap here for more

21 June 12:14

BUSINESS INSIDER | Olympian tests positive for Covid-19 in Japan after testing negative before travel, getting vaccine

The member who tested positive was denied entry into the country and was instead sent to a government-run facility while the rest of the team was able to head to Osaka.

Tap here for more

21 June 11:35

Businesses told they can fire workers who refuse Covid-19 vaccines – but it’s not that simple

South Africa's labour department recently updated its guidelines for dealing with Covid-19 in the workplace, which now requires companies to declare whether they plan to make vaccinations compulsory.

Read here

21 June 10:02

Adriaan Basson | If you live in Gauteng, you should be in Level 5 lockdown

The third wave has turned into a tsunami in Gauteng. There is only one person who can break the devastating chain of infections: you.

It is now clear that the third wave of Covid-19 infections is a tsunami in Gauteng. The graph of infections is still pointing skywards with no signals of decline. 

Read here

21 June 10:00

Cyril Ramaphosa | Covid-19 case surge: We need to be responsible to protect our loved ones

We are now in the midst of a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. We may be tired of this persistent enemy, but it is not yet tired of us.

The threat to health and lives is evident as people become ill and some die. So we must do what we can, as individuals, as families and communities, as unions and employers, and as government, to limit the toll.

<p><strong>Cyril Ramaphosa | Covid-19 case surge: We need to be responsible to protect our loved ones</strong></p><p><em>We are now in the midst of a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. We may be tired of this persistent enemy, but it is not yet tired of us.</em></p><p>The threat to health and lives is evident as people become ill and some die. So we must do what we can, as individuals, as families and communities, as unions and employers, and as government, to limit the toll.<em></em><strong></strong></p>
Read the newsletter here

20 June 19:04

SA's latest Covid-19 numbers

There have been 13 155 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total to 1 823 319, the NICD says.

There have been 112 new deaths, taking the death toll to 58 702. There have been 1 647 503 recoveries. The country has completed 55 593 tests in the past 24 hours. 

There have been 2 141 624 vaccines administered so far. 

20 June 13:51

Brazil hits 500,000 Covid-19 deaths as the Amazon Gamma variant accelerates virus contagion

 - The number of coronavirus-related deaths passed 500,000 in Brazil on Saturday.

 - Only the US, with 600,000+ deaths, surpasses Brazil.

 - Protesters took to the streets of every Brazilian city to protest Bolsonaro's pandemic response.


20 June 13:50

Uganda Olympic team member tests positive for coronavirus on arrival in Japan

A member of the Uganda Olympic team has tested positive for coronavirus on arrival in Japan, just over a month before the pandemic-postponed Games, officials said.

The first group to arrive from Uganda - a nine-strong party, including boxers, coaches and officials - landed at Tokyo's Narita airport on Saturday. They are the second team to arrive after Australia women's softball squad on 1 June.


20 June 13:49

Tokyo cancels Olympic live-viewing events and will turn some venues into vaccination sites

 - Tokyo has cancelled live-viewing events for the Olympics, the Japan Times reported.

 - Some of the venues will instead be used as Covid-19 vaccination sites, Tokyo's governor announced.

 - The debate over whether to allow spectators to watch the games in person is ongoing.


19 June 14:48

Whittle adds that any person that contracted Covid-19 in the past 30 days should not be vaccinated. He says that any person that was vaccinated using another vaccine (Pfizer or using J&J under Sisonke) should not be re-vaccinated. “Any person that vaccinated for flu in the past 14 days should also not be vaccinated,” he says. 

19 June 14:45

Dr Granville Whittle ( the acting DG)  tells media that: 300 000 doses arrived on 17 June. Additional doses expected early next week while 280 000 additional to be made available to the sector. The expiry date on the doses is  8 August 2021, but will stick to 14 day timeline.

19 June 14:38

She adds: "What is required now is vigilance, alertness, and most of all strict adherence to the health and safety measures, that have been put in place. Keep safe!"

19 June 14:38

She adds that the Second Chance Matric Examinations are proceeding well.  "These examinations started on 26 May 2021, and yesterday, was day 17; which leaves us with 13 more days.  The only concern, are the protest actions in Harrismith, Free State, where the examinations are disrupted.  The Department is looking to other options to assist the candidates in this area."

19 June 14:37

On learner support programmes during Covid-19 pandemic Motshekga says the department and its partners continue to use alternative means of providing curriculum material.

"These are national supplementary remote learning campaigns, developed to support 2021 matric learners and learners in the General Education & Training Band (GET) from Grades R to 9, with supplementary support content, that will enable learners to catch-up on learning losses; and enable them to enhance, acquire and develop crucial knowledge, skills, attitudes and values during the academic year," she says. 

19 June 14:35

Motshekga says cabinet approved and supported the proposal by the sector, to prepare for the return of traditional time-tabling at primary school level with effect from the first day of the third school term on 28 July 2021.

19 June 14:34

On the state of readiness for return of primary school learners she says the decision was canvassed adequately within the sector, with key stakeholders making inputs in the process. 

“We were guided by various studies, which looked into the teaching and learning losses already suffered in the sector; the scientific evidence regarding the impact of Covid-19 on younger children; as well as the advice from the medical fraternity," the minister adds. 

19 June 14:25

"We believe that schools must remain open and in saying so we are not insensitive to the concerns raised about the rising infections. The position is that we continue to handle Covid cases according to the differentiated strategy, on a province by province, school-by-school basis. While there are disruptions in the sector, the majority of our schools remain fairly stable. Our social partners and key stakeholders expressed the same view in our engagement earlier today," says Motshekga.

19 June 14:18

On the management of Covid-19 cases in schools, she says every school must have a Covid-19 committee, a Covid-19 file, and compliance officers.

19 June 14:17

She says vaccination is voluntary but "highly recommended so that everybody can be protected".

19 June 14:16

Motshekga said in their deliberations with the Department of Health, it was further agreed that the vaccination programme must cover – staff who transport children to and from schools; staff who support the school feeding scheme – here we refer to the food handlers; staff who do remote learning programmes (TV and Radio); and staff of teacher unions, and indeed other contracted staff who provide security, do cleaning and other functions at school.

19 June 14:14

Those to be vaccinated are:  

All PERSAL Staff (as at April 2021) in DBE (educators, administrative and support staff) at all public schools; irrespective of their age;  

School Governing Body appointed teachers, and those teachers employed by independent schools registered in terms of the South African Schools Act;  

Five hundred and eighty-two thousand (582 000) persons to be vaccinated over 10 to 14 days (weekdays and weekends); or 7 to 10 days (if it is weekdays only);  

A strict registration process will be followed, as follows –  

If you are PERSAL staff member, your details have already been captured onto the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS);  

Lists for SGB appointees and independent school educators will be uploaded onto the EVDS;  

On-site data capturing will be required for individual’s cell numbers; and medical aid details;       

There will be NO ON-SITE registrations – that means persons not bulk uploaded in the EVDS, cannot be registered on-site; and therefore, cannot be vaccinated. 

19 June 14:10

Motshekga says vaccination is voluntary but highly recommended so that everybody can be protected. 

"Let us work together on this fight against Covid-19 in our spaces. Everybody is expected to make their own transport arrangements. Where there are challenges schools will need to assist," she says. 

19 June 14:07

She says vaccination programme will start next Wednesday, 23 June, concluding 8 July, the day prior to school closures.

She says 582 000 teachers and support staff in the sector will be vaccinated over 14 days.

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