COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Western Cape is the first province to record Covid-19 deaths

SANDF soldiers in Mary Fitzgerald square in Newtown Johannesburg. They will be deployed to Alex, Hillbrow and other parts of the Johannesburg during the lockdown.SANDF soldiers in Mary Fitzgerald square in Newtown Johannesburg. They will be deployed to Alex, Hillbrow and other parts of the Johannesburg during the lockdown.
Image: Alaister Russell
27 March 2020 09:05
South Africa has recorded its first two cases of Covid-19 deaths.

In a statement minister of health Zweli Mkhize said the deaths were recorded in the Western Cape.

“This morning, we wake South Africans up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19. These two deaths occurred in the Western Cape. One at a private hospital and the other at a public hospital.”

The department said it would brief the media later on on Friday as the number of Covid-19 cases have risen after SA tipped the 1000 mark.

27 March 2020 – 08:25
‘Gauteng, especially Sandton is the epicentre of the virus’ Aaron Motsoaledi
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi says most infections of the coronavirus have been recorded in Sandton.

“The epicentre is now Gauteng, especially the Johannesburg area, especially Sandton… That’s where the elite stay, they go all over Europe, they went to Italy and England, now they are in contact with people who are doing shopping there and their workers.”The United Nations on Thursday hailed armed groups heeding its call for a ceasefire during the coronavirus crisis, as Security Council and General Assembly members prepared draft resolutions in support of the measure.

Armed groups in Cameroon, the Philippines, Yemen and Syria have moved in recent days to reduce violence as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday issued an appeal for ceasefire.

The UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffith, said he was “heartened” to see positive responses from both the government and Huthi rebels.

Mmusi Maimane on the lockdown — ‘my family and I are praying for our nation’

Mmusi Maimane has sent prayers for SA.Mmusi Maimane has sent prayers for SA.
Mmusi Maimane took to Twitter before the lockdown on Thursday night to convey a message of hope as South Africans prepared for the 21-day home confinement fight against the coronavirus.

The Movement for One SA (Mosa) leader said he and his family were praying for all South Africans and expressed optimism that each would come out of this difficult time stronger.President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced that SA would be going on lockdown for 21 days to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Businesses and non-essential service providers will close.

SAPS, traffic officers, health care professionals and the military are exempt from the lockdown. The SANDF will be deployed to potential hot spots to assist police in ensuring that the lockdown rules are adhered to.

In Memes | Mzansi in the red zone after jogging, dog walking and booze ruled out during lockdown

South Africans rushed to stock up on booze ahead of the 21-day lockdown on March 26 2020.South Africans rushed to stock up on booze ahead of the 21-day lockdown on March 26 2020.
The ban on jogging, walking of dogs and alcohol sales during the nationwide lockdown was almost the tip of the iceberg for some South Africans.

On Wednesday the government made a U-turned on its decision to allow people to walk their dogs and jogging, saying it was banned. They added to the burn by confirming that booze would not be fore sale during the 21-day period.

“There is no need to be on the road, there is no need to move around,” police minister Bheki Cele said.Cele also said the movement of alcohol would be restricted.

“There shall be no movement of liquor from point A to B. If we find liquor in your car’s boot, that is illegal. If you break these laws, you are six months in jail or fined,” he said.

The ban had everyone talking, as many expressed their dismay.

Here is what tweeps said on the three bans.

French tourist with ‘sore throat’ at Kruger National Park had Covid-19

The tourist visited a doctor, complaining of a sore throat The tourist visited a doctor, complaining of a sore throat during his stay in the Kruger National Park. File photo. 
Image: Jackie Clausen
SANParks has confirmed that a French tourist had tested positive for Covid-19 at the Kruger National Park.

The parks authority said the 25-year-old man was part of a group of six who had booked a two-night stay in the national park.

“The group arrived in the country on 14 March 2020 and entered the [park] three days later on 17 March, departing on 19 March 2020,” said SANParks spokesperson Rey Thakhuli.

“Before leaving the KNP one of the tourists, a 25-year-old male, consulted the resident medical doctor in the park for what was initially suspected to be a malaria infection but later ruled out. The tourist was advised by the doctor to undergo a Covid-19 test as he complained about a sore throat and had a slight fever [37.3°C]. 

“The test was done as per the national department of health regulations by the KNP doctor with the details of the group obtained for easy tracing,” he said.during his stay in the Kruger National Park. File photo.After the test the group left for KwaZulu-Natal. They were later traced to the province and attended to by health department personnel.

“[National health department] has confirmed that the five members of the group have now placed themselves in self-isolation and the patient admitted to a designated health facility in KwaZulu-Natal,” said Thakhuli.

Mpumalanga health department officials have visited Skukuza to track down staff who may have had contact with the group. All possible contacts were identified.

“According to [health department] protocols, the identified staff will be closely monitored for the mandatory 14 days from the date of exposure, and will immediately be taken for testing if they show any of the symptoms conforming to the Covid-19 case definition,” said Thakhuli.“Staff have very limited contact with visitors and all staff in national parks follow clear sanitising protocols as per SANParks approved standard operating procedures as prescribed by the World Health Organisation and [health department] guidelines.

“We believe that if staff strictly follow these safety protocols, the chances of staff contracting the disease are very low,” Thakhuli said.

All national parks remain closed in adherence to the nationwide lockdown.

Curfew clampdown: Police & military take to Joburg’s streets

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the police took to the streets of Johannesburg in the early hours of March 27 2020 to enforce the curfew set for the country’sSANDF soldiers in Mary Fitzgerald square in Newtown Johannesburg. They will be deployed to Alex, Hillbrow and other parts of the Johannesburg during the lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday announced a 21-day national lockdown from midnight, March 26 2020 until April 16 2020.

Police officers and metro cops began patrolling the streets of Joburg in the early hours of Friday and had already made arrests after some people chose to ignore the lockdown rules.

Among the rules were calls for people to be confined in their homes, for pubs to be closed and for no person in public to be found in possession of alcohol.

Members of the SANDF were also out ensuring that law and order was maintained.

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