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Weekly Global COVID-19 Wrap, 18 September
18 September 2020, 12:16 PM

In this week’s Global COVID-19 Wrap, SABC News captures highlights from the African continent, Europe, Asia, and the Americas as the number of confirmed infections worldwide rises.

Currently, the COVID-19 cases worldwide stand at over 30.3 million with more than 22 million recoveries and deaths at 950 821.

In South Africa, the number of confirmed cases passed the 655 000 mark this week. The death toll has risen to more 15 700.

On the rest of the continent, 52 African Union Member States have so far reported 1 389 039 cases; with 33 484 deaths and 1 138 203 recoveries.

Below are COVID-19 stories making headlines around the world:

Millions of people may have contracted COVID-19: Mkhize
16 September 2020, 11:52 AM

Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize in giving the latest update on coronavirus (COVID-19) says that studies indicate that an estimated 12 million people may have contracted COVID-19 in South Africa.

As the country records a steady decline in new infections, Mkhize says revised models predict that there are South Africans with detected and undetected coronavirus infections.

South Africa has recorded over 650 000 COVID-19 cases, of which 583 000 people have recovered. Over 15 600 people have died from COVID-19-related illnesses.


Mkhize says health officials are trying to detect society’s level of immunity to the virus.

“The 12 million comes from a figure that is a general assumption we make, how many people should be infected before we can get basic herd immunity. So that is around 20 percent of the population which is about 12 million people. Right now, nobody really knows how many people have got immunity. We have done some interesting reports from UCT and WITS which have found that there are variable numbers of people with antibodies which are much more than the numbers that are shown to have been infected in the areas.”

Dr. Zweli Mkhize in the video below talks to SABC News

Moving SA to Alert Level 1 up to President: Mkhize
16 September 2020, 11:36 AM

Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize says that moving the country to Alert level 1 is a decision that is taken by Cyril Ramaphosa after a consultative process.

Ramaphosa addressed the nation in August and extended the National State of Disaster by a further month to 15 September.

On Tuesday,  Chairperson of the COVID-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, says after the reported decline of coronavirus infections, South Africa is ready to move to Alert Level 1 of the lockdown.

“It has to be a general decision taken by the President, the cabinet, the premiers and various departments everyone has to make an input and look into what are the areas that are of concern, the ministerial advisory committee, and expert groups so its a whole consultative process that no one person can really determine what should happen. Largely we think that we need to be moving closer to the normality the pre-COVID normality which means therefore that some of the restrictions that relate to issues of traveling, borders, use of alcohol, and all those restrictions will obviously need to be relooked at,” says Dr Mkhize.

South Africa has recorded 772 new coronavirus cases. This brings the total number of cases to 651 521.

The country has also recorded 142 new COVID-19 related fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to 15 641.

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Mkhize says that South Africa needs to move closer to normality.

“The fact that the numbers have decreased it means for South Africa we need to move closer to normality. However, our normality must be a new normal there are things that we will not be able to get rid of for example huge meetings sports, and so on there still remains risks”

The Health Minister cautions that there are huge risks in super spreading events, such as concerts, sports events, and large church gatherings where one person can infect too many people and cause a wave of infection.

In the video below Dr Zweli Mkhize speaks to SABC News

Lungisa’s lawyer to lodge papers in Constitutional Court to appeal sentence
16 September 2020, 5:21 AM

Nelson Mandela Bay African National Congress (ANC) councillor Andile Lungisa’s lawyer will on Wednesday lodge papers in the Constitutional Court appealing his two-year imprisonment sentence for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

His appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bloemfontein was dismissed last week.

He was convicted of hitting Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Ryno Kayser with a glass jug over the head during a council meeting in 2016.

Once his appeal is lodged, his attorney will meet with the NPA and lodge an application in the High Court in Makhanda to have his bail conditions extended.

On Tuesday, NPA Regional Spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said the extension was granted due to technical problems with the manner the 48-hour notice to Lungisa to hand himself over was delivered to his attorneys.

The video below is on Lungisa approaching the High Court in Makhanda to seek the extension of his bail conditions:

Last week, the African National Congress in the Eastern Cape also ordered him to resign as a councillor in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and suspended his party membership.

In the video below, Lungisa confirms receiving the letter from the PEC:

Climate crisis has not stopped amid COVID-19: UN
13 September 2020, 12:27 PM

Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere hit a record high this year. This is according to a United Nations report released this week.

It says global temperatures have also risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Scientists say a temperature rise beyond 1.5 or 2 degrees will lead to far worse impacts from climate change across the world, including droughts, stronger storms, and extreme sea-level rise.

Africa Regional Climate Change Coordinator for the United Nations Environment Programme, Dr Richard Munang spoke to SABC News:

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