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Italy coronavirus death toll surges past 10 000 ,lockdown extension likely
28 March 2020, 11:00 PM

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy barreled past 10 000 on Saturday, a figure that made an extension of a national lockdown almost certain.

Officials said 889 more people died in the previous 24 hours, the second highest daily tally since the epidemic emerged on February 21, and that total fatalities reached 10.023.

In this video , SABC News Correspondent Hermyuhnee Kitson gives details on the situation in Italy:


Confirmed cases rose by about 6000 to 92.472, the second-highest number of cases in the world behind the United States.

Officials said the numbers would have been worse without a national lockdown.

In this video, Italian military enforces coronavirus lockdown:

“Without these measures, we would be seeing far worse numbers and our health service would be in a far more dramatic state. We would have been in an unsustainable situation,” said Angelo Borelli, the Civil Protection head who reads out the numbers daily to the media and an anxious Italy.

Italy, the first Western country to introduce severe restrictions on movement after uncovering the outbreak five weeks ago, has since increasingly tightened them, and hopes that they would be eased from next Friday were fading fast.

“There are elements that make us believe that all of the April 3 expiration of provision will have to be postponed,” Industry Minister Stefano Patuanelli told Italian broadcaster Rai.

The Lombardy region, which has borne the worst of the contagion, recorded 542 new deaths, bringing the total there to 5.944.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has urged the European Union to launch a “recovery bond” to help fund the response to the coronavirus outbreak, saying failure to tackle the emergency would be a “tragic mistake” for the bloc.

Mbalula slams those who seek to undermine national lockdown
27 March 2020, 9:03 PM

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has slammed those who seek to undermine the national lockdown which is part of wide-ranging interventions to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

He has been speaking in Pretoria at an inter-ministerial briefing on the back of day one of the national lockdown.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the country now stands at 1170 with one confirmed fatality.

Authorities have reduced the number of fatalities from two to one and say they will offer clarification soon.

In this video, Ministers representing the COVID -19 National Command Council update the nation on the status of the lockdown:

Mbalula says there have been some challenges with public transport, particularly long queues and a lack of transport to ferry essential workers

“The first challenge in terms of public transport is transporting workers with essential need like those working in the banks or supermarkets, in the hospitals.”

“The operations started well today. We had challenges of long queues where taxi industry did not come to the party to transport people and we want to emphasize once more that the regulations as stand in relation to 5-9 in the morning, but afternoon 4-8 that still stands.”

Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said he has intervened to ease congestion of people leaving the country through the Beitbridge Border in Musina in Limpopo, amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Many motorists, including truck drivers, were earlier stuck on the long queue from Thursady night.

He says the department had to allow everyone to pass because Musina does not have capacity to handle the situation.

In this video, Aaron Motsoaledi addresses the situation at the border:

Alexandra residents defiant on first day of 21-day lockdown
27 March 2020, 8:03 PM

The police and the army have been moving through different sections of the Alexandra Township, north of Johannesburg, urging residents to stay in their homes.

The majority of residents in Alexandra have been largely defiant on the first day of the 21-day lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus which has since claimed one life.

In this video below, SABC News reporter Maageketla Mohlabe, give updates on Alexandra Township on the 21-day lockdown:


During Johannesburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo’s walkabout in Setshwetla on Friday afternoon, community members complained of their poor hygiene conditions which include communal toilets and the lack of sanitizers.

Makhubo says while he appreciates their poor living conditions, it’s in everyone’s interest that they also stay indoors.

“As we leave, we’re going to leave it to the police and the army to now restore law and order here. I mean I can see they got into their houses and they’re back out again. So, we have to keep on reminding them that they must stay in their homes.”

“That’s why we asked the SANDF to say look, let’s get in. We’ve been with them. We’ve been with the Metro. There’s provincial police, there’s SAPS. So, everyone is here. They’re going to enforce now.”

South Africa earlier confirmed its first two fatalities from the virus – two women in the Western Cape.

More than 1000 people in South Africa have tested positive for the coronavirus.

ANC extends support to ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe
27 March 2020, 8:01 PM

The African National Congress (ANC) Chief Whip Pemmy Majodina has extended support to African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) leader Kenneth Meshoe and his Deputy Steve Swart after they tested positive for the coronavirus.

Both are MPs.

Meshoe revealed his status and that of Swart after receiving their results.

Meshoe took a test after coming into contact with five international guests who tested positive for the coronavirus following a religious gathering in Bloemfontein in February.

In this video below, SABC News reports Reverend Kenneth Meshoe and his deputy Steve Swart have tested positive for COVID-19:

Almost 500 people attended the church event and authorities are trying to trace them.

Pemmy Majodina says, “We want to pledge our wavering support to them. It’s good that the leaders have come upfront and declare their status, because it would send a clear message to say nobody is  immune to testing positive to COVID-19.”

“Therefore, were are expected, all of us, to exercise all precautionary measures where possible so that we are safe. But these two members, they are going to recover fully. We put them in our prayers, but they have our wavering support.”

Last week, Meshoe attended a meeting in Parliament along with President Cyril Ramaphosa and other political parties.

Presidential Spokesperson Khusela Diko said all protocols with regards to tracing and testing for the COVID-19 pandemic will be followed for everyone without exception.

Meshoe says, so far, he is not showing any symptoms of the virus.

More than 1000 people in South Africa have tested positive for the coronavirus.

South Africa earlier confirmed its first two fatalities from the virus, two women in the Western Cape.

Home Affairs Minister intervenes to ease congestion in Beitbridge Border
27 March 2020, 7:29 PM

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he has intervened to ease congestion of people leaving the country through the Beitbridge Border in Musina in Limpopo, amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Many motorists, including truck drivers, were earlier stuck on the long queue from Thursday night.

The border was opened at about midday.

Motsoaledi says the congestion was caused by delays from Zimbabwean authorities due to their own lockdown rules with other countries.

He says the department had to allow everyone to pass because Musina does not have capacity to handle the situation.

In this video, Aaron Motsoaledi addresses the situation at the border:


He, however, says from Saturday no one will be allowed to leave, except trucks transporting essential goods.

“They were not being allowed on the Zimbabwean side because they were arguing that the lockdown between Zimbabwe and the neighbouring countries like Zambia and Malawi already happened at 8 o’clock last night and they said they won’t let them through because then they will stay in Zimbabwe.”

“So, I had to go to the Zimbabwean side and we negotiated. They phoned their counterparts and they have also agreed that they will open for them. Especially, because Musina is a small city. If we strictly say 12 o’clock last night and you can’t go through, then it means they will stay in Musina and they will be overwhelmed. Well, we are allowing them to go home. Immediately, when we have cleared those who are here, we close.”

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