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Phakamile Hlubi-Majola
Numsa condemns Golden Arrow for forcing employees to work during lockdown
30 March 2020, 5:04 AM

The National Union of Metal Workers South Africa (Numsa) has condemned Golden Arrow bus services in the Western Cape for allegedly forcing workers to go to work during the national lockdown.

The union says Golden Arrow in the region is disregarding the national lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Union says Golden Arrow lied to the Western Cape provisional government by declaring itself essential services to force workers to return to work.

Numsa says the company is risking the lives of its workers at the expense of making profits.

Numsa spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi- Majola says the Golden Arrow has threatened legal action against the union.

“The management of Golden Arrow is trying to make workers to defy the lockdown and go to work. This is nothing more than attempted murder and we demand that they stop immediately.”

“Golden Arrow is not an essential service and it cannot declare it’s self overnight. As a result of this mis- information two bus drivers were arrested on Friday for carrying busloads of passengers.”

“Both of these drivers were following the instructions of management and in direct contravention for call to implement social distancing.”

Meanwhile the number of coronavirus infections is at 1 280 with two death.

Law confident of securing Olympic spot despite Tokyo Games postponement
30 March 2020, 4:00 AM

Four years after being inspired by watching compatriot Justin Rose claim gold at the Rio Olympics, Bronte Law had all but secured a spot on the British golf team before the 2020 Tokyo Games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the Olympic qualifying period likely to be extended for another year, Law remains confident of maintaining her strong form to secure her ticket to Tokyo.

She flew back from her American base to her family home in Cheshire just before Britain went into lockdown earlier this week to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

With the LPGA Tour shut down indefinitely, Law, who won the 2015 English amateur by 16 strokes, will have plenty of time to ponder the Olympics.

“It’s been something on my mind for a couple of years now,” she told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“(During the 2016 Rio Games) I was still in college. To see (Rose win) made it very real as far as golf now being an Olympic sport.

“You can win grand slams in tennis and majors in golf, and all of those are incredible achievements but when you become a gold medal winner you become part of a very select group of incredible athletes that branch across all sports.”

Law is 18th on the Olympic qualifying list, the second-placed Briton, immediately behind Charley Hull and well ahead of 39th-ranked Georgia Hall.

Two British women will qualify.

Polish composer Penderecki dies at 86 after long illness
30 March 2020, 4:00 AM

Poland’s Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the world’s most celebrated composers, died on Sunday at the age of 86, his family said.

Penderecki was known for his film scores, including for William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist”, Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” and David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart”, for his Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and the largely atonal St Luke’s Passion.

“After a long and serious illness, Krzysztof Penderecki — one of the greatest Polish musicians, a world authority in the field of classical music died,” Poland’s Ministry of Culture said in a tweet.

Penderecki had been tested for coronavirus after his carer was diagnosed with the illness, but the composer’s result was negative, his daughter Beata Penderecka told Reuters.

Part of the family had been under quarantine at home after attending a family meeting on March 7, Penderecka said. Several people present later tested positive for coronavirus.

Elzbieta Penderecka, the composer’s wife tested negative, Beata Penderecka said.

Penderecki won four Grammy awards for his music, most recently for best choral performance in 2016.

Coronavirus deaths fall again in Italy but lockdown extension looms
30 March 2020, 3:16 AM

The number of deaths from coronavirus in Italy fell for the second consecutive day on Sunday but the country still looked almost certain to see an extension of stringent containment measures.

The Civil Protection department said 756 people had died in the last day, bringing the total to 10.779 – more than a third of all deaths from the virus worldwide.

There were 133 fewer deaths than the 889 deaths reported on Saturday, when the numbers fell from a record high of 919 on Friday.

In this video , Italy continues to battle COVID-19:

While the total number of confirmed cases rose to 97.689 on Sunday from a previous 92.472, it was the lowest daily rise in new cases since Wednesday.

But despite hopes by Italian officials that the downward trend would continue, it appeared increasingly likely that restrictions on all but essential activities that were due to expire on Friday would be soon officially extended.

“The measures that were due to expire on April 3 inevitably will be extended,” Regional Affairs Minister Francesco Boccia told Sky TG24 television.

He said the timing would be decided by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the government based on data from the medical and scientific community.

“I think that it would be inappropriate and irresponsible to talk of re-opening (schools and production sites),” Boccia said.

Gauteng Health Department to roll out mass flu vaccination campaign
30 March 2020, 2:15 AM

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku says the provincial government will be rolling out a mass flu vaccination campaign targeted at the elderly and health workers.

Masuku says the elderly will receive flu vaccinations at Sassa pay points from Monday.

In this video , Sassa confirms it will pay social grants to older persons and persons with disabilities from Monday until Tuesday:

“We are going to be in the next three days having Sassa payouts particularly for the elderly . We have already vaccinated all the people who work in our OP centre and also all our community healthcare workers who have been trained as tracers.”

“On Monday we are going to also roll out vaccinations for the elderly for flu because its important that we vaccinate those who are the most vulnerable in society.”

Masuku says provincial government is ramping up testing and will set up more testing facilities in the province, particularly in high density areas.

“We are rolling out testing sites throughout the province which the testing will be done in a focused manner in a systematical manner and cost effective. The testing sites we’ll be starting them where there’s a high density of contacts so that we able to improve that aspect.”

“We already have trained 4437 community health care workers who are part of the tracing teams , we are continuously training so that 9000 or so of them should be on the ground doing to the tracing.”

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