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Western Cape projects a slower increase of COVID-19 cases amid third wave
15 July 2021, 3:17 PM

The Health Ministry in the Western Cape has forecast a slower increase of COVID-19 cases compared to the second wave.

Head of the Department, Dr Keith Cloete, says this is while the province is in the grip of the third wave of infections.

Cloete was speaking during the weekly update webinar on COVID-19.

There are just over 32 000  active cases of COVID-19 in the Western Cape, 2 822 are currently in hospital, with about an equal split between the private and public sectors.

Cloete says hospital admissions are increasing at a rate of about 200 per day, lower than their earlier predictions.

“We have a 13.5 week on week increase, you will see its lower than it was a week before, our case numbers though continue to increase, we are currently seeing an average of 2335 new cases each day, in wave two in comparison, at the peak we had more than 3000 cases per day, the split between private and public sector is even in the province at the moment , admissions are now increasing by about 280 new additions per day, and the deaths are now approximating about 60 deaths per day.”

He says they are scaling up vaccination programmes with about 30 000 people getting their shots every day.

Of the 34 000 health workers in the province, about 70% have been vaccinated.

Cloete says depending on the supply, the province hopes to achieve heard immunity by November.

“Our projections are, with the current supply line and what is being procured for us over the next coming months, we will do everything in our power to maintain above 30 000 vaccinations per day, to increase access over week-ends if we need be, to even increase more than 30 000 per day to be able to get us towards the end of November, to get herd immunity in this province.”

Provincial Health Minister, Nomafrench Mbombo, says they are starting pop up vaccination centres at shopping malls, grant system pay-points and mobile buses.

Mbombo says her department has come to realise that the availability of the vaccination centres does not translate into easy access for some.

“In Mitchells Plain we are using the Sassa points, in Philippi it has been done, the farm community which is out of reach we are using the mobile wellness bus, then we have the pop up in the urban areas where we go to the malls, at  the end you have to dismantle the mainstream system where it does not accommodate everyone. We do know that availability of a service doesn’t necessarily translate to accessibility and utilisation of the service.”

Over 700 000 people have been vaccinated in the province thus far.

Authorities are calling on those who have not been vaccinated from the over 60s group to come forward  as only about 60 per cent of them have registered.

Western Cape says vaccinations continue despite looting in Gauteng and KZN:

Infographic:  latest COVID-19 cases in South Africa

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Numsa members at Impala mine accuse Amcu-affiliated colleagues of blocking their return to work
15 July 2021, 2:28 PM

Contract workers affiliated to the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) have not reported for duty at the Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg, in the North West, despite their expected return to their posts this week.

The Numsa members allege that they are being prevented by their colleagues who are affiliated to rival union, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union( Amcu).

They say Amcu is forcing them to join the union before they can be allowed to report to work.

” (A) Numsa member who want to go inside they have to sign a contract with Amcu. The workers are heart broken because they did not get paid because of the stop orders signed by Amcu. Clock cards are blocked. Other mine workers are working. We had a meeting with the  security. We agreed that they will talk to the management and revert but we have not received a feedback,” says  one of the disgruntled mineworkers, Wesley Lekhobe.

Amcu is yet to respond to the accusations.

The Numsa affiliates had been on strike demanding, among others, salary increases, living out allowances and medical aids.

Recently, over 4 000 of their comrades employed by four companies contracted to Impala Platinum Mine were sacked by their employers while on strike.

Cosafa
Namibia beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in Cosafa group match
11 July 2021, 10:00 PM

Namibia beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in a Group B Cosafa Cup match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the Eastern Cape this afternoon.

On paper, Zimbabwe looked stronger than their opponents but on the field it was something else as the Brave Warriors of Namibia absorbed some pressure before taking full control of the match in the second half.

 

In their first match of this year’s competition, Namibia won by 2-1 against Senegal, who are invited guests in the Southern African tournament.

While Zimbabwe played out to a goalless draw against Mozambique before a 2-2 draw with Malawi in their first two games of this year’s event.

In another Group B match, Mozambique also won by two unanswered goals against Malawi.

 

Slow pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in Eastern Cape concerning to authorities
11 July 2021, 9:34 PM

The rate of COVID-19 vaccinations in the Eastern Cape is not up to desired numbers. There is much skepticism going around, holding many back from getting the vaccine.

In Nelson Mandela Bay, only 49% of the population older than 60 have been vaccinated.

There is a big drive to increase the vaccination rate with the Eastern Cape Health Department aiming to vaccinate 30 000 people per day.

The Nelson Mandela Bay metro is officially in the third wave.

Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor, Nqaba Bhanga, says the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium is earmarked as a mass vaccination point.

Those who are over 60 are not responsive in terms of taking the vaccine. It is for that reason that we call our parents to understand  that this vaccine is an intervention to protect them against the severe attacks of COVID-19.”

The target is to vaccinate 4.5 million people in the Eastern Cape. So far just over 500 000 people have been vaccinated.

Spokesperson for the provincial Health Department, Sizwe Kupelo, says people must not believe the myths being peddled.

“The vaccine will assist people, those over 60 and those living with chronic condition, and we are also going to do over 35. All these things that are being said about this vaccine are a myths that need to be ignored. We urge people to take this opportunity, because there comes a time where people will be in desperate need of the vaccine. “

Psychologist, Kempi van Rooyen, says a lack of trust in the vaccine is holding people back.

When you’ve got more conservative individuals, they are often older. There is a bit of a sense of distrust for authority, so there is a sense that someone will try and get something out of me and are often more reluctant to actually trust authority .”

Those that have been vaccinated have no regrets.

I know people that have taken the vaccine and contracted COVID-19 but they are not so sick as others, ” says one resident.

I think they are ignorant of the fact that taking the vaccine you are more healthier, you are not putting yourself at risk nor do you put your family at risk, ” adds another.

More than 700 vaccination sites are operating in the Eastern Cape.

Infographic: COVID-19 cases in South Africa

 

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Marvel’s ‘Black Widow’ debuts with dazzling $80 million in theaters
11 July 2021, 7:42 PM

Disney and Marvel’s superhero adventure “Black Widow” captured a massive $80 million in its first weekend, crushing the benchmark for the biggest opening weekend since the pandemic.

In a first for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film opened simultaneously in theaters and on Disney Plus as part of the streaming service’s Premier Access offering, where subscribers can rent “Black Widow” for an extra $30.

Disney reported that “Black Widow” generated more than $60 million “in Disney Plus Premier Access consumer spend globally,” marking the rare occasion in which a studio discloses revenues for digital rentals.

Overseas, “Black Widow” collected $78 million in its debut, boosting its global box office haul to $158 million.

Disney didn’t share viewership data for the previously released “Cruella” starring Emma Stone and the animated “Raya and the Last Dragon,” which also premiered simultaneously in theaters and on Disney Plus.

It’s unclear if Disney will continue to report digital rentals for the upcoming action adventure “Jungle Cruise,” which opens in cinemas and on Disney Plus on July 30.

In a statement on Sunday morning, Disney’s media and entertainment distribution chairman Kareem Daniel said “‘Black Widow’s’ strong performance this weekend affirms our flexible distribution strategy of making franchise films available in theaters for a true cinematic experience and, as COVID concerns continue globally, providing choice to consumers who prefer to watch at home on Disney Plus.”

After a brutal year and change for the movie theater business, the performance of “Black Widow” is encouraging to Hollywood and film exhibitors alike.

David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, says Marvel remains in a league of its own at the box office. After all, few film franchises would still be able to galvanize audiences 24 films in.

“Certainly the figure would be higher if every theater were open, if there were zero concern with COVID, and if there weren’t a streaming option,” Gross says. “For now, those impediments make ‘Black Widow’s’ opening all the more impressive.”

Universal’s “F9: The Fast Saga” came in a distant second place with $10.8 million. Since it released on the big screen three weeks ago, the action sequel starring Vin Diesel has generated $141 million in North America.

At the international box office, “F9” crossed the $400 million mark, boosting its global total to $541.8 million.
Universal also took third and fourth place on domestic box office charts with “Boss Baby: Family Business” ($8.7 million)and “The Forever Purge” ($6.7 million).

“The Boss Baby” sequel and the most recent “Purge” installment each opened theatrically over the July 4 holiday weekend and have now collected $34.7million and $27.4 million, respectively.

Paramount’s “A Quiet Place Part II” took the fifth spot with$3 million, pushing its domestic tally to $150 million, the biggest result yet for a movie released during the pandemic.

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