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Motsoaledi expresses shock over foreign nationals removal from church
6 April 2020, 12:39 PM

Home Affairs Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, has described as surprising, the removal of foreign nationals from the Central Methodist Church at Green Market Square to Bellville.

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato says the move was premature, this after police moved over 500 people to Bellville, some 20 kilometres away, on Thursday without the City’s agreement.

Plato says the City of Cape Town is preparing an alternative site in Wingfield, near Maitland.

Motsoaledi says authorities are seeking to clarify the series of events. “We are surprised and it is difficult to know who doesn’t understand who. The land where we moved these people was chosen by the Minister of Public Works together with the CTN Mayor. And the Minister of Police complained to me because you told me that the Premier of the WC said we must come help because police must help. And when we do so, we are being condemned. So we thought we needed to put things into perspective about what happened. That is why in the statement we are trying to follow up on the sequence of events of what happened when and who said what.”

In the video below, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi speaks to the SABC News:

Some of the foreign nationals who have been moved from the Central Methodist Church in Cape Town are unhappy about their new accommodation.

The group is now living in a marquee tent in Bellville.

Spokesperson Caroline Shembe says the tent is already overcrowded and it is difficult to sleep.

The foreign nationals want President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in the matter.

Shembe says they are now more exposed to the coronavirus than inside the church they were removed from on Thursday.

The City of Cape Town says the current living conditions of the foreign nationals are in violation of the lockdown regulations. Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith says the group cannot live in such appalling conditions.

“We will well then also have to remove the people from Paint City as photographs from there clearly demonstrate that the lockdown regulations are being violated and people have been packed on top of each other.”

Man City’s Walker faces disciplinary action for breaking lockdown rules
6 April 2020, 11:57 AM

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker faces disciplinary action from the Premier League champions after tabloid the Sun said he breached Britain’s lockdown rules by hosting a party during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sun said England international Walker, 29, had also invited two call girls to the party at his Cheshire home last week, shortly before he had urged people on Twitter to follow government guidelines on social distancing.

Walker apologised for his actions in a statement to the newspaper on Sunday, saying he had let down his family, friends, club, supporters and the public.

Walker apologised for his actions in a statement to the newspaper on Sunday, saying he had let down his family, friends, club, supporters and the public.

“Manchester City FC are aware of a story in a tabloid newspaper regarding the private life of Kyle Walker in relation to a breach of the UK lockdown and social distancing rules,” City said in a statement released to British media.

“Footballers are global role models, and our staff and players have been working to support the incredible efforts of the National Health Service and other key workers in fighting the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in any way we can.

“Kyle’s actions in this matter have directly contravened these efforts. We are disappointed to hear the allegations, note Kyle’s swift statement and apology, and will be conducting an internal disciplinary procedure in the coming days.”

Global virus infections exceed a million, with more than 65,000 deaths, a Reuters tally showed.

Below is a Live Tracking of the cases, death toll and other information, updated daily:

 

Wits University producing masks for COVID-19 patients
6 April 2020, 10:37 AM

Wits University students and engineers are producing face shields and devices to assist patients with breathing in hospitals as the country battles the outbreak of COVID-19.

This comes as South Africa confirmed COVID-19 cases stand at 1655, an increase of 70 from the previously reported cases.

The Health Department also confirmed yet another two deaths related to COVID-19. This takes the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in South Africa to 11.

The university says they produced the first few hundred face shields which were delivered to hospitals in Johannesburg last week.

Wits spokesperson, Shirona Patel says the university wants to take the project up to scale, however more funding will be required.

“This will assist in helping us to make the face shields that will keep the health care practitioners protected and to assist in breathing and assist devices helping patients to survive. The university is grateful for any contribution that anyone makes however large or small. This initiative aims to save lives of many people.”

CUT develops 3D masks for patients

The Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein has also joined the battle against COVID-19. It is providing respiratory support strategies for coronavirus patients.

The institution is developing 3D print masks for patients. The masks will provide non-invasive ventilation and continuous airway pressure.

In the video, CUT develops COVID-19 3D print masks for patients

Port Elizabeth healthcare workers fearful due to lack of protective equipment  

Meanwhile, healthcare workers at Port Elizabeth hospitals, in the Eastern Cape, fear for their lives as they fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Staff at some of the hospitals don’t have the basic equipment to protect themselves.

The already emotionally and physically drained workers say they were dealt another blow when they learned that one of the doctors, whom they were in contact with, had tested positive for the virus. The doctor is currently in isolation.

A medical doctor, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the situation is worrying.

Tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus
6 April 2020, 8:14 AM

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in the first known case of a human infecting an animal and making it sick, the zoo’s chief veterinarian said on Sunday.

Nadia, the 4-year-old Malayan tiger that tested positive, was screened for the COVID-19 disease after developing a dry cough along with three other tigers and three lions, the Wildlife Conservation Society, which manages the zoo, said in a statement. All of the cats are expected to recover, it said.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is believed to have spread from animals to humans, and a handful of animals have tested positive in Hong Kong.

But officials believe this is a unique case because Nadia became sick after exposure to an asymptomatic zoo employee, Paul Calle, chief veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo, told Reuters. Calle said they did not know which employee infected the tiger.

“This is the first time that any of us know of anywhere in the world that a person infected the animal and the animal got sick,” Calle said, adding that they planned to share the findings with other zoos and institutions. “Hopefully we will all have a better understanding as a result.”

While the other tigers and lions were also exhibiting symptoms, the zoo decided to test only Nadia because she was the sickest and had started to lose her appetite, and they did not want to subject all the cats to anesthesia, Calle said.

“The tigers and lions weren’t terribly sick,” he said.

Nadia underwent X-rays, an ultrasound and blood tests to try to figure out what was ailing her. They decided to test for COVID-19 given the surge in cases in New York City, the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States.

The first tiger at the zoo, which has been shut since mid-March, began showing signs of illness on March 27, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories, which performed the test.

Police issue warning to those breaking lockdown regulations
6 April 2020, 6:37 AM

Police have warned members of the public violating the lockdown regulations to be ready to face the full might of the law.

About 17 000 people have been arrested since the beginning of the 21 day national lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The deadly virus which was first discovered in China last December has claimed the lives of eleven  South Africans and has infected 1655 .

Police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo says the latest arrests include that of a Pretoria man who posted a video mocking the COVID-19 operations and a group of youth in Hammanskraal north of Pretoria who were insulting Police Minister Bheki Cele on social media.

“Police in Littleton arrested a 23-year-old man after posting a video being very abusive saying he doesn’t care about the COVID 19. He was even seen standing in front of the police station also swearing claiming to be taking drugs. We also arrested four people in Temba that have posted a video swearing at the minister of police and two people in KZN for posting fake news on social media.”

Naidoo says a Gauteng man has already been punished for contravening the COVID-19 Disaster Management Regulations after he was caught selling liquor in Ga-rankuwa north of Pretoria.

In the video below, Cele cautions offenders to adhere to the lockdown restrictions:

Cele welcomes decrease in serious crimes since COVID-19 lockdown 

Police Minister Bheki Cele on Sunday welcomed the general decrease in serious and violent crimes, attributing this to amongst other factors, the prohibition of the sale and movement of liquor since the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown.

The 2019-2020 National Crime Statistics are yet to be released officially – however, Cele says the preliminary reports show a decrease.

Analysing the crime and comparing the first week of the lockdown to the same period in 2019, Minister Bheki Cele confirmed that:

– murder cases had dropped from 326 to 94;

– rape cases dropped from 699 to 101;

– cases of assault with intention to inflict grievous bodily harm, dropped from 2 673 to 456; and

– trio crimes dropped from 8 853 to 2 098.

In the video below, Minister Cele discusses the drop in crime:

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