The number of coronavirus cases in the country is revised, South Africans in Wuhan have returned home and the world takes further steps to contain the virus.
Estonia, Lithuania shut borders to foreign visitorsEstonia and Lithuania said Saturday they will shut their borders to most foreign visitors while fellow Baltic EU member Latvia imposed security measures of its own to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.”The government has decided to temporarily reintroduce border controls on the whole border,” Estonian Prime Minister Jri Ratas said in a government statement.The measure will apply starting on Tuesday in the country of 1.3 million people which has registered 115 confirmed cases of Covid-19.- AFP
Israel postpones Netanyahu graft trial by two months over coronavirusIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial has been postponed until 24 May due to concerns about coronavirus, the Jerusalem District Court said on Sunday.”Given the spread of coronavirus and in accordance with instructions limiting the court’s work to only urgent matters, we have decided to postpone the first hearing until May 24,” a statement said regarding the trial which had been set to open on Tuesday. – AFP
People over 70 in the UK will be quarantined at home for 4 months in a ‘wartime’ effort to tackle Covid-19People aged over 70 in Britain will be asked to stay in strict isolation at home or in care homes for up to 4 months under a radical new plan to prevent them from catching the coronavirus.
Cabinet’s crisis plans to deal with coronavirus likely to include travel bans, airport closuresWith the number of South Africans infected with the Covid-19 coronavirus climbing at a rapid rate, an emergency Cabinet meeting scheduled for today is expected to come up with measures to curb the spread of the global pandemic in the country.
Coronavirus ‘not just a European problem’ – Archbishop Thabo MakgobaAnglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has expressed concern that Covid-19 could have a severe impact on South Africa, saying it is not just European problem.
Philippines closes off capital to fight virusPolice began closing off access to the Philippines’ sprawling and densely populated capital Manila on Sunday, imposing a quarantine that officials hope will curb the nation’s rising number of coronavirus cases.Officers armed with rifles blocked off main roads into the city of some 12 million as domestic flights to and from Manila were halted early on Sunday for a month-long isolation of the capital.Mass gatherings and school at all levels have also been called off, but delays and exceptions have led public health experts to question how effective President Rodrigo Duterte’s measures will be.- AFP
US, Germany battle for virus vaccine surpremacyThe United States and Germany are vying to produce an exclusive vaccine against the coronavirus which is being developed in a German laboratory, Die Welt daily reported on Saturday.According to the paper, US President Donald Trump is trying to poach German scientists working on an experimental vaccine against a global health threat that has now killed some 5 500 people with a view to having an exclusive licence rolled out in the United States.Such a vaccine would be “only for the United States”, a source close to the German government told Die Welt, though Berlin would reportedly is looking to make offers of its own to biotech firm CureVac, based in the German state of Thuringia.- AFP
Coronavirus: 13 new cases recorded in SA, total jumps to 51The number of Covid-19 cases in South African has risen to 51, with 13 new cases identified since Saturday, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize announced on Sunday.
Coronavirus in SA: All the confirmed casesHere are the 51 confirmed positive cases of coronavirus in South Africa, by province.
The Health Ministry highlighted the role of contact tracers when people arrived in SA and said that tracing must be done within 48 hours
Here are where the 13 new coronavirus cases originate, according to the Health Department:Gauteng: 7Western Cape: 5KwaZulu-Natal: 1
Coronavirus: Forum calls on govt to criminalise spread of fake newsThe Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF) held its special NEC meeting on Friday 14 March in Midrand for other purposes including to communicate its position on the current global outbreak of the Covid-19 virus.
The Health Ministry has announced 13 new cases of coronavirus in SA, pushing the total to 51.
Vatican to hold Easter celebrations without congregation due to coronavirusThe Vatican said on Sunday that its traditional Easter week celebrations would be held this year without worshippers due to the coronavirus.”Because of the current global public health emergency, all the liturgical celebrations of Holy Week will take place without the physical presence of the faithful,” the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household said in a statement.- AFP
Coronavirus: Cabinet to mull travel bans and public gathering restriction – reportAn emergency Cabinet meeting to be held on Sunday could decide whether South Africa should impose stricter measures such as travel bans on countries which have not controlled Covid-19 infection rates, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
US extends coronavirus travel ban to UK, IrelandThe United States said on Saturday it was stepping up its fight against the coronavirus and extending a European travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland, while acknowledging that some domestic travel curbs are also being considered.US President Donald Trump has decided to “suspend all travel from the United Kingdom and Ireland” effective midnight Monday EST (04:00 GMT Tuesday), Vice President Mike Pence told a White House news conference.”Americans in the UK or Ireland can come home. Legal residents can come home,” Pence said, adding that such people would be “funneled through specific airports and processed”.- AFP
China reports 20 new virus cases, jump in ‘imported’ infectionsChina on Sunday reported 16 new imported cases of the coronavirus, the highest in over a week, as domestic cases dwindle in the country.The National Health Commission said infections involving people arriving from overseas were reported in five provinces and cities including Beijing and Shanghai.Only four new domestic cases were detected, all in Hubei province’s capital Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December.There have now been 111 imported infections, with regions outside of Hubei reporting no new indigenous cases for the third day in the row, prompting fears that China’s measures to contain the virus domestically could be undone by reintroduced outbreaks.Another 10 people died, all in Wuhan, bringing the national toll from the disease in mainland China to 3 199.More than 80 000 people have been infected.- AFP
Israel halts leisure, culture activities to stem coronavirusPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday Israel would shut down eateries, shopping centres and gyms in a bid to halt the spread of novel coronavirus.”Everything pertaining to leisure activities will be halted tomorrow morning,” he said in a televised address.A treasury official speaking after Netanyahu said that besides a shutdown of restaurants, shopping malls, cafes, hotels and gyms, a school closure announced on Thursday would be expanded to include kindergartens.- AFP
Spain announces coronavirus lockdownSpain on Saturday followed Italy and imposed a near total nationwide
lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus by banning people from
leaving home except to go to work, get medical care or buy food.Prime
Minister Pedro Sanchez announced the restrictions on movement following
a huge spike in the number of infections in this nation of some 46
million people.- AFP
Coronavirus: Isolated Wits student ‘remains well’, university considers cancelling major eventsThe Wits Covid-19 Management Committee is still awaiting the results of a medical student who has been in self-isolation since earlier this week. – AFP
Colombia expels French and Spanish nationalsColombia expelled two French nationals and two Spaniards for
violating coronavirus quarantine rules, immigration officials said
on Saturday.The two couples separately took tourist trips in
defiance of restrictions imposed on visitors from the worst-affected
countries to try to limit the pandemic.Colombia’s President Ivan
Duque on Wednesday ordered travellers from France, Spain, Italy and China
to be isolated on arrival in the country.Immigration authorities said the couples had been expected to remain in isolation in their hotels for 14 days. The
French couple in their 60s, who arrived in the country on March 11,
instead left their accommodation to take a tour to Mongui, about 240km away. – AFP
France shuts down non-essential public spaces to fight coronavirus- France on Saturday drastically stepped up its measures against the
spread of the coronavirus, announcing the closure of all non-essential
public places including restaurants and cafes from midnight (23:00 GMT).”I
have decided on the closure until further notice from midnight of
places that receive the public that are non-essential to the life of the
country,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told reporters. – AFP
Trump tests negative- US President Donald Trump has tested negative for the novel coronavirus,
his physician said on Saturday, following concerns over his exposure to a
disease that has paralysed the globe.Trump agreed to the test
after coming in contact with several members of a Brazilian presidential
delegation visiting his Florida resort who have since tested positive
for the virus. “This evening I received confirmation that the test is negative,” the president’s physician Sean Conley said in a memo. – AFP
Nurses on the edge of exhaustion- A worn-out nurse slumps over her keyboard in a widely shared image
symbolic of the extreme fatigue that Italian healthcare workers are
facing as they battle Europe’s worst outbreak of the novel coronavirus
pandemic.The picture is of Elena Pagliarini, a nurse in the northern region of Lombardy which has been worst hit by the disease.Nationwide,
Italy has more than 1 400 deaths from the virus and 21 000 infections,
with a quarter of the country’s intensive care beds taken up by those
with the illness.In normal times Lombardy is the economic heart of Italy, equipped with one of the world’s best health systems.But those who staff it – like Pagliarini – have been put under enormous strain. “On
one hand I was annoyed to see my photo everywhere, I was ashamed of
showing my weakness,” Pagliarini told the Corriere della Sera newspaper. – AFP
Coronavirus hits newsrooms- The ailing US news industry is bracing for more turmoil with the
coronavirus pandemic expected to deliver an economic shock to the sector
– just when people need credible information the most.The
impact is expected to be especially difficult for the newspaper sector,
which has endured a decade where 2 000 publications have disappeared and
newsroom jobs have fallen by half.News organisations are
expected to take a hit from drops in advertising in an economic
downturn, and could see declines in subscription revenue as readers pare
expenses. – AFP
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Spanish PM’s wife tests positive- The wife of Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has tested positive
for the novel coronavirus, his office said late on Saturday, just hours
after he announced a near total lockdown nationwide.Both Begona
Gomez and her husband were well, and were at their official residence
following the new measures introduced by the health authorities, said a
government statement. – AFP
Cape Town man struggles to get tested for Covid-19 at private hospitalA Western Cape man has told News24 that his attempts to get tested for Covid-19 on Thursday proved futile.
14 MARCH WRAP- The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is now 38. The numbers have increased by 14 from yesterdayâs confirmed cases of 24.- The South African Airways flight, transporting South African citizens repatriated from Wuhan, China arrived in Polokwane on Saturday morning. They will be in quarantine at the Protea Hotel’s The Ranch Resort, 25km from Polokwane, for 21 days. – The number of novel coronavirus cases globally stood at 151,760 with 5,764 deaths, across 137 countries and territories at 17:00 GMT Saturday, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.
Dropping resistance, Trump takes coronavirus testUS President Donald Trump said Saturday he had taken a coronavirus test, after days of dismissing concerns at his recent exposure to a disease that has paralysed the globe and could affect millions of Americans.Appearing at a White House news conference where he attempted again to provide guidance and assurance to a worried population, Trump said he had gone ahead with the test – which he had repeatedly claimed not to need.”I also took the test last night,” said Trump, who is not showing symptoms of the virus according to White House doctors, but has rubbed shoulders with several people who since tested positive.The 73-year-old president said results were expected in a day or two.
The number of novel coronavirus cases globally stood at 151,760 with 5,764 deaths, across 137 countries and territories at 17:00 GMT Saturday, according to a tally compiled by AFP from official sources.Between Friday’s 1700 GMT tally and Saturday’s latest figures there were 417 more deaths reported and 11,037 new cases.The country that saw the biggest increases over the last 24 hours was Italy, which recorded 175 new deaths, while Iran had 97 and Spain 63.
Senegal’s President Macky Sall on Saturday announced strict measures aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus, including banning public gatherings, closing schools and cancelling April 4 Independence Day festivities.”I have decided, first of all, to ban all public events for 30 days throughout the country,” Sall said on national television following an emergency meeting.The president also announced a temporary ban on cruise ships docking in Senegal and the introduction of systematic health controls at all borders.
SA Blood Service assures public that donations are safeThe South African National Blood Service has urged members of the public to continue with blood donations, despite the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus inaction: Could world leaders have blood on their hands?Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding explains why he ranks collective global efforts to stop coronavirus as B-minus, C-plus.
Temperature checks for all in close contact with Trump”Out of an abundance of caution, temperature checks are now being performed on any individuals who are in close contact with the President and Vice President,” Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a statement.Trump said Friday he would “most likely” get a coronavirus test after coming into contact with several people who have tested positive.A White House doctor reversed that statement later, however, saying Trump “remains without symptoms” and did not need to be tested.
UK figuresBritain’s death toll from the disease nearly doubled on Saturday, as health officials announced 10 more people had died, bringing the total number of fatalities to 21.Official figures released Saturday showed the country has 1,140 confirmed cases – an increase of 342 from the day before.
The breakdown of new cases per province is as follows:GAUTENG: 7A 76 year old male who had travelled to the UK and the US.A 72 year old female who had travelled to the UK and the US.A 47 year old male who had travelled to the UK and the US. A 52 year old male who had travelled to Germany A 38 year old male who had travelled to the Netherlands and Germany A 62 year old male who had travelled to the Netherlands A 19 year old female who had travelled to France and ItalyWESTERN CAPE: 6 A 27 year old male who had travelled to Brazil A 33 year old female who had travelled to France A 49 year old male who had travelled to France and Italy. A 14 year old female who had travelled to the US and Dubai A 73 year old male who had travelled to the UK A 32 year old male who had travelled to the UK.KWAZULU-NATAL: 1 A 47 year old male who had travelled to Switzerland
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is now 38. The numbers have increased by 14 from yesterdayâs confirmed cases of 24, Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize has said in a statement. In view of the rising numbers, President Ramaphosa has called for an urgent cabinet meeting to held on Sunday. This meeting will explore ways of intensifying the countryâs response to this outbreak.
Medical workers in Wuhan reveal smiles behind their masks after the last temporary hospital is closedMedical workers in Wuhan, China, revealed smiles behind their masks to celebrate the closing of the last temporary hospital that was panic-built to accommodate the overflow of coronavirus patients in the city.
eThekwini metro cops halt use of breathalysers ‘to reduce risk’ of coronaviruseThekwini metro police will no longer be using breathalysers at roadblocks for fear of spreading coronavirus, according to a social media post by metro police head Steve Middleton.
Spain confirmed more than 1,500 new cases of coronavirus between Friday and Saturday raising its total to 5,753 cases, the second-highest number in Europe after Italy.The country was expected to declare a state of alert on Saturday to try to mobilise resources to combat the virus, which has so far killed 136 people in Spain.
WATCH | ‘I was touched, watching our children inside those buses’- Polokwane residents react as SA evacuees arriveThere were mixed emotions from Polokwane residents on Saturday afternoon as they watched buses ferrying South African citizens repatriated from Wuhan coming through the Limpopo capital, and making their way to the lodge where they will be quarantined.
KZN Health MEC happy with measures in place at airport, portKwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has visited the King Shaka International Airport, Port of Durban and met with religious and traditional leaders in a bid to raise awareness of coronavirus.On Saturday, Simelane-Zulu met with traditional leaders in Durban, following several days of the awareness campaign. On Friday, she carried out an inspection tour of the Port of Durban to scrutinise the screening protocols on travellers leaving or returning to the port, and to get first-hand experience on their application.
Iran deaths lifts global toll to 5,500 Since the virus first emerged in late December, more than 143,400 cases have been recorded in 135 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally compiled at 17:00 GMT on Friday based on official sources.The death toll tally stood at 5,402 before Iran announced 97 new virus deaths, taking its own fatalities tally to 611.The worst affected countries in terms of fatalities are mainland China, with 3,176 deaths, Italy with 1,266 deaths and 611 in Iran.
UPDATE: eSwatini is awaiting results on 12 more cases after a woman tested positive for Covid-19
Super Rugby suspended in wake of coronavirus pandemicThe 2020 Super Rugby tournament will be suspended “for the foreseeable future” following this weekend’s Round 7 matches.
‘We’re really happy to be home’ – handwritten note of thanks from Wuhan evacueeThe handwritten letter, on a torn piece of lined paper, directed to the SANDF and SAPS officials who travelled to China on the repatriation mission, says the author is “really happy to be home”, and that they have no words to express their gratitude.
US President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency as the World Health Organization named Europe the new epicenter of the coronavirus and more countries scrambled Saturday to slow the expanding pandemic by shutting borders and closing businesses.”To unleash the full power of the federal government, I’m officially declaring a national emergency,” Trump said, announcing $50 billion in federal funds to battle the contagion.
Iran death toll risesIran said on Saturday that the novel coronavirus has claimed 97 more lives, raising the country’s total to 611, as the number of confirmed cases jumped again.Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said that “1,365 fresh cases have been added to the number of confirmed infections in the past 24 hours”, bringing the total to 12,729.- AFP
Rwanda confirms first caseRwanda on Saturday confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus – an Indian citizen who arrived last week from Mumbai, the health ministry said.”He is currently under treatment in stable condition, isolated from other patients. The tracing of all contacts has been conducted for further management,” the ministry added.Rwanda is the third East African nation to confirm a case in the past two days after Kenya and Ethiopia reported their first infections on Friday.The region had remained unscathed until now, but Rwanda has stepped up its preparation, placing washbasins with soap and sanitiser around the capital Kigali.RwandAir has cancelled flights to China, Israel and India, while concerts, rallies, trade fairs and sports events have been cancelled.-AFP
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