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COVID-19 cases increased significantly after lifting of alcohol ban: Mkhize
13 July 2020, 7:01 PM

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says coronavirus cases increased significantly in South Africa when the alcohol ban was eased some weeks ago and this has necessitated a reintroduction of the measure.

He says there was a significant reduction in alcohol-related trauma cases at the country’s hospitals when the ban on sales was first introduced at the beginning of the lockdown in late March.

Mkhize was briefing the media in Pretoria.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that the ban on the sale of alcohol would be reinstated with immediate effect.

Mkhize says projections show that the country could alleviate the pressure on hospitals by stopping thousands of alcohol-related trauma cases in only the first week of the alcohol ban.

“Now we are very concerned about the fact that the consumption of alcohol in the country is pretty high and its estimated that is 31% and of all, we are really saying is that we plead for understanding and patience as we try to navigate through a difficult time in the country.”

“This is one of the issues that we think at the end of the day it would be inexcusable to actually end up with beds blocked by something that’s completely preventable and avoidable, the consumption of alcohol, and end up with lives of people with a difficult viral infection being compromised.”

Earlier on Monday, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also defended the suspension of alcohol sales.

“When people are drinking in groups they let their guard down, their masks and social distancing will go. That is when the spread happens. We have seen it in many instances. It socially brings people together, discourages people from using masks, social distancing, sanitising. But more importantly, when people have taken liquor, they get drunk, indulge in irresponsible behaviour and some of them become violent.”

There are 276 242 confirmed coronavirus cases – of which around 135 000 have recovered. Over 4 000 people have died from COVID-19-related illnesses.

Gauteng is currently the epicentre of the virus followed by the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape.

Below is a provincial breakdown of COVID-19 cases in SA:

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SA to remain at Level 3

President Ramaphosa says despite huge concern about the escalation in coronavirus cases, the government has decided that the country will remain at Level 3 of the lockdown.

In the video below, the President urges citizens to take COVID-19 seriously and act responsibly:

A curfew from 21:00 to 04:00 is also now in force from Monday.

People will also now be legally obliged to wear a mask when they leave their homes.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, it is the responsibility of every South African to maintain vital social distancing and hygiene practices to keep themselves and others safe. pic.twitter.com/jUaNeQZxqs

— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) July 12, 2020

Reallocation of resources for COVID-19 has adversely impacted health of women: Ramaphosa
13 July 2020, 5:42 PM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has told an independent United Nations (UN) panel that the health of women has been adversely impacted through the reallocation of resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The South African President and current African Union Chairperson was the opening speaker at the Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent, a group appointed by the Secretary-General in 2015 to oversee progress on the global strategy to shore up healthcare for these demographics.

Ramaphosa says the pandemic is placing a burden on already constrained health systems.

“The health of women has been adversely impacted through the reallocation, particularly in sexual and reproductive health services. There is a real danger that this will contribute to a rise in maternal and new-born mortality, increased unmet need for contraception and an increased number of unsafe abortions and sexually transmitted infections,” he said.

South Africa believes sexual and reproductive health services are crucial for a thriving society, including access to maternal health care and interventions related to gender-based violence.

Ramaphosa called on the nations of the world to ensure that the pandemic does not worsen existing inequalities or impede the realisation of the rights of women and girls.

In the video below,  the launch of the UN Report:

Ramaphosa also called for developing countries to have equitable access to safe and effective medicines and new health technologies.

“We call on upon the global community to undertake the actions that are urgently needed to ensure collaboration on the development of knowledge, intellectual property and data for existing and new therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics for COVID-19. I would like to commend governments around the world for their collaborative efforts towards advancing Sustainable Development Goal 3 on ensuring health and well-being for all. This includes a bold commitment to end HIV and Aids, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030,” he said.

 

Tourism Business Council considers legal action over interprovincial travel uncertainties
13 July 2020, 5:27 PM

The Tourism Business Council South Africa (TBCSA) says it is considering taking legal action against government over uncertainties on interprovincial travel regulations.

The office of the Presidency appeared to backtrack on a Twitter post last week in which it published an infographic, stating that leisure travel within the confines of a single province and non-business-related stays at hotels were permitted under lockdown level three.

TBCSA CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa says they are seeking legal advice on the matter.

“There has been a flip-flopping around this matter. The Presidency issued an infographic on Friday evening disclaiming that leisure travel within the province is allowed and then to retract that on Saturday saying it’s not allowed, that is a big problem.”

“Flip-flopping doesn’t help. A lot of people were preparing to open up and deciding when they were going to be opening. As the TBCSA, it is a matter that we will be exploring with lawyers this morning to go to court to seek relief as it is devastating for our sector.”

In the video below, is President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation:

LIVE: Social Cluster briefs the media
13 July 2020, 3:04 PM

Ministers who serve in the National Coronavirus Command Council are briefing the media following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Sunday 12 July 2020, on government’s further plans to combat the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa.

Zindziswa Mandela will be remembered as a special soul: Mandela Foundation
13 July 2020, 2:43 PM

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has issued a statement expressing its sadness on Zindziswa Mandela’s passing.

The organisation says they are shocked to wake to the news of the untimely passing of Zindziswa Mandela.

“On a day when we are marking the anniversary of another terrible moment, when Madiba’s son Thembekile died in a car accident in 1969. Zindzi was someone we had come to know well and to love. She was our friend. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

Nelson Mandela Foundation says Zindzi will be remembered for a rich and extraordinary life, marked by many iconic moments.

In the video below, Chairperson of Parliament Portfolio Committee on International Relations Tandi Mahambehlala reacts to the passing of Zindzi:

The organisation says they remember the years she spent banished with Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to the small town of Brandfort.

Zindzi, who served as South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, was the younger of the Mandela daughters – and regarded by many as a child of the nation.

“That summer’s day in February 1985 at Jabulani Stadium when she read to the world Madiba’s rejection of President Botha’s offer of a conditional release from prison.” Her own courageous work in underground structures. Public service as South African Ambassador to Denmark.

Zindziswa Mandela will be remembered as a special soul. She worked with the Foundation on many projects over the years.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation says they valued her generosity, her warmth and her sense of humour.

“She was always patient in responding to our requests for information and other forms of assistance. And we admired her strength in dealing with life’s challenges and tragedies.”

In the video below, Zindzi reads her father’s letter:

 

She accompanied her mother into banishment at Brandfort and visited her father on Robben Island from the age of 16.

 

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