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VIDEO: National Command Council COVID-19 lockdown briefing
28 March 2020, 2:00 PM

Ministers representing the COVID -19 National Command Council are updating the nation on the status of the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa.

Live stream below:

VIDEO: Motsepe Foundation pledges R1 billion to fight COVID-19
28 March 2020, 12:22 PM

The African Rainbow Foundation is hosting a virtual media conference. This as the Motsepe Foundation has pledged R1 billion to fight coronavirus.

The Motsepe Foundation has outlined various efforts it’s engaging in to assist South Africa in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa has 1170 COVID-19 cases and one death. There are nearly 600 000 COVID-19 cases across the globe and over 27 000 deaths.

The Motsepe Foundation joins other South African business bodies and lobby groups – who have pledged to work with the government in the fight against the pandemic.

Live stream below:

Egypt reports 39 new coronavirus cases, three deaths
27 March 2020, 12:20 PM

Egypt on Thursday reported 39 new coronavirus cases and three deaths, the health ministry said in a statement, bringing the total number of infections to 495, including 24 fatalities.

The new cases are all Egyptians who were in contact with other patients, with the exception of one Libyan man. The three dead are all Egyptians from Cairo, a 30-year woman and two men aged 78 and 72 years.

The statement added that 102 of the people infected had recovered and been released from a quarantine hospital.

Egypt on Tuesday declared a two-week curfew from 7 PM to 6 AM to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In the video below, the WHO says it hopes government lockdowns flatten curve of outbreak:

Africa’s window to curb coronavirus

About half of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa still have a “narrowing” opportunity to curb the spread of coronavirus in the local population, a World Health Organisation regional official said.

The virus has multiplied across Africa more slowly than in Asia or Europe, but more than 40 nations on the continent have now reported a total of 2 850 with 73 fatalities, according to a Reuters tally.

On Thursday, Kenya confirmed the death of its first patient over coronavirus, government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna told Reuters.

“It has been a very dramatic evolution,” Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Africa head, told a media teleconference on Thursday.

In the video below, SABC’s Sarah Kimani gives update on East Africa:

SA coronavirus cases exceed 1 000

Cases of coronavirus in South Africa passed 1 000 on Friday, the health ministry said, while also reporting its first two deaths on the first day of a three-week, nationwide lockdown.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown, which saw Africa’s most industrialised economy largely shudder to a halt overnight, earlier this week.

“This morning, we South Africans wake up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19,” the health ministry said in a statement, adding cases had risen to more than 1,000, from 927 on Thursday.

Both deaths had occurred in the southernmost province of Western Cape, with one in a public hospital and the other in a private hospital, the statement read.

The 21-day lockdown came into force at midnight on Thursday, and largely confines people to their homes aside from specific purposes like buying food or for health emergencies.

However, local media on Friday morning showed pictures of bustling streets and long queues outside supermarkets in poor townships – where cramped, squalid conditions make social distancing near impossible, and mean the virus could spread quickly among people reliant on an ailing public health system.

In the video below, SA sex workers say they want to be included in the government relief fund:

South Africa records first COVID-19 deaths
27 March 2020, 9:10 AM

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has confirmed that two COVID-19 patients have died in South Africa.

The fatalities occurred in the Western Cape. One at a private hospital and the other at a public health facility.

The country has over 1 000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with Gauteng recording over 400.

In a statement Mkhize says, “This morning, we wake South Africans up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19.”

“We will give more details later on, when we announce the  latest confirmed COVID-19 cases, which have increased from yesterday’s number and have tipped the 1 000 mark,” he adds.

Below is the timeline of South Africa’s COVID-19 cases:

16 suspected coronavirus cases among prison officials

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola says there have been 16 suspected coronavirus cases among officials at correctional centres across the country.

Lamola says 11 of the officials have tested negative for the virus and results for the remaining five are pending.

He says, “There has been processes of sanitisation, deep cleaning some of the correctional centres which are still continuing as we speak since the period of the lockdown. There has been suspected cases from our officials about 16 officials. 11 of them have been cleared to processes of testing, we are still awaiting results for the 5 officials.”

In the video below, Ronald Lamola speaks about security measures for COVID-19 :

Home Affairs to open during lockdown

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says Home Affairs will only provide essential services such as issuing death certificates and temporary identity documents.

Motsoaledi says there will be no issuing of other documents including new marriage certificates, new births certificates, and passports.

He has also announced that people who have circulated false news about the pandemic will be charged.

Motsoaledi says, “I want to state here that this fake news  and it tends to be more dangerous sometimes as much as the virus itself because it worries people. Because of this and because we are on possession of the original source of the pictures, I’ve instructed my officials to go and lay a charge with the police. This is the first test case of whether fake news can be charged or not. We are going to charge these ones and we have identified at least three of them.”

In the video below, Aaron Motsoaledi speaks about his department’s measures for COVID-19:

INFOGRAPHIC: Isolation vs Quarantine:

Isolation vs Quarantine by SABC Digital News

SANDF should not instil fear in people: Ramaphosa
27 March 2020, 7:51 AM

President Cyril Ramaphosa says members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) need not instil a sense of fear in people, but should provide confidence and hope.

This comes as the country enters day-one of a 21-day lockdown to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The country has 927 confirmed COVID-19 cases , with Gauteng recording over 400.

Ramaphosa, dressed in full SANDF gear, addressed hundreds of soldiers in Soweto on Thursday.

He said, “As it is now, when we start these 21 days, many of our people are fearful, they are doubtful, they are concerned about the virus, their livelihoods, the loneliness that this is going to impose on them as we confine them to their homes. They will be looking up to you to give them confidence that everything will be alright.”

Ramaphosa told members of the SANDF that this was a life-saving and life restoration mission.

“This is not a moment for skop and donner, this is not a moment for skiet and donner. This is a moment to be supportive to our people. I therefore order you to go out and execute this mission with great success. Thank you very much.”

In the video below, President Ramaphosa addresses SANDF ahead of 21-day lockdown:

President hailed

Political Analyst from the University of Johannesburg Professor Mcedisi Ndletyana has applauded the decisive steps by the President.

“I would have hoped the President would have led like this for the past two years and not wait for a catastrophe of this kind to provide the stern and decisive leadership. Hopefully this is something he will continue into the future because as soon as this thing passes the problems are going to be even more. The economy, who knows in a month who two unemployment is going to be at 30%, the growth rate might be revised even further down, so I hope this boldness and decisiveness will stay with us and if it stays this President could do very well.”

In the video below, Professor Ndletyana praises the President’s leadership and negotiation style:

Lockdown will yield positive results

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says she believes that the 21-day national lockdown will yield positive results in slowing the spread of the virus.

She was speaking to the media after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) at the Doornkop military base in Soweto, Johannesburg on Thursday night.

Mapisa-Nqakula says there are currently no plans to extend the lockdown.

“We haven’t had that kind of discussion, in fact whatever decision will be taken at whatever point if there’s a change it would have to be informed by an assessment of health workers and the Minister of Health. We believe for now the three weeks, which the President has asked us to lockdown that it will yield necessary positive results. If it doesn’t then that’s another matter. At that point the National Command Council will discuss and then take a decision,” she explains.

In the video below, Mapisa-Nqakula urges citizens to comply with lockdown rules:

Below is the timeline of South Africa’s COVID-19 cases:



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