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Coronavirus morning update: Harsh 'repercussions' for SA economy, and shock findings on PPE tenders

admin deals 2020-08-24 23:28:00 324 0

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN SA

Cases update: 

The latest number of confirmed cases is 607 045.

According to the latest update, 12 987 deaths have been recorded in the country.

There have been 504 127 recoveries.

So far, a total of 3 535 067 tests have been conducted, with 30 560 new tests reported.

READ MORE | All the confirmed cases of coronavirus in SA

Latest news:

The G-20's "least-resilient" nations are set to face far worse economic consequences than wealthier ones in the aftermath of the pandemic, according to a report by global political risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.

India, South Africa, and Brazil will experience the "harshest repercussions" as they attempt to recuperate economic losses this year, analysts David Wille and Joshua Cartwright wrote.

G-20 countries in Western Europe and East Asia have the capacity to recover more rapidly than emerging market members, the report said.

More affluent countries adopted strict lockdowns and managed to support citizens when their economies entered a "self-induced coma," the report found, while poorer G-20 members could not launch such widespread programmes, it added.

The clear outlier was found to be the US with the "least effective pandemic response of any developed market" due to a politicised re-opening of state level eceonomies, which allowed the virus to keep spreading, the report said.

READ MORE | South Africa, India and Brazil face 'harshest' economic hit from the coronavirus, report finds

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says the country has lost money, probably some of its frontline workers, and the trust of its people in government because of corruption.

She was speaking at a virtual rally against corruption on Friday organised by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.

"Trust was already in the emergency room in this democracy. When we talked about the new dawn, that was a period that that trust was being renewed. We are back in the emergency room that makes our democracy fragile.

"Corruption is a threat to all of us. The outcomes of corruption are death, hunger and anger and democratic fragility," said Madonsela.

She said corruption involving PPE procurement endangered society and had led to many losing hope in the democracy of this country - with many blaming President Cyril Ramaphosa.

READ MORE | 'SA democracy in ER': We lost money, frontline workers and trust to Covid-19 graft - Thuli Madonsela

An East London businessman, who had been dead for two years, allegedly scored a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) tender worth close to a R1 million during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Daily Dispatch reported the deceased's company was listed as having benefitted from the Eastern Cape department of health's Covid-19 procurement.

The provincial government disclosed the list of more than 600 vendors that benefitted from the procurement meant for Covid-19 goods and services.

The newspaper reported that Odwa KK Matshaya's family was shocked when they saw his company, 2KS Construction and Projects, listed as having received R992 105.

It was reported that, at the time of his death, Matshaya was the sole director.

The Daily Dispatch quoted one of Matshaya's relatives, who said: "KK died two years ago and was the owner and sole director of this company. This came as a shock to us, but the family does not want to talk more about this. This is not good at all - this is rot. Who did this and for what good reason?"

The publication further reported that a number of other Eastern Cape businessmen have come forward disclosing that their companies appeared on the list, while they were never awarded the contracts.

READ MORE | Dead business man scores PPE contract in Eastern Cape - report

After four months of being at home, worried about their jobs and what the future holds for them amid the Covid-19 pandemic, tour guides are excited to be back on the job - however in a much safer one.

Among the tourist attractions that are preparing and putting measures to reduce the transmission of the virus is Real Adventures Base Camp in Parys, Free State.

But it is not business as usual, as the pandemic has now forced some change. Everything needs to be sanitised before use by different tourists - from quad bikes, life jackets for sailing, and pinball target shooting guns, everything is sanitised.

Upon arrival, tourists are screened and processed, before taking part in activities. Like all other public areas, a no-mask-no-entrance rule applies.

Situated on the banks of the Vaal River, the camp usually could accommodate up to 200 people, but would now be forced to cut the number to 50 to adhere to Level 2 regulations aimed at minimising the spread of the virus.

READ MORE | 'A good feeling' - Tour guides excited as they return to work under safe Covid-19 protocols

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE REST OF THE WORLD 

Cases update:

For the latest global data, follow this interactive map from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

Late on Saturday night, positive cases worldwide were 23 million, while deaths more than 801 000.

The United States had the most cases in the world - 5.4 million, as well as the most deaths - nearly 176 000.

READ MORE | All the confirmed cases worldwide

LATEST RESEARCH

As South Africa heads into Level 2 of lockdown, interprovincial travel has opened up again, including domestic air travel.There is, however, no great cause for concern, as experts have found that you're more likely to pick up the coronavirus in a shopping centre, office or the airport itself than on a plane, where air filters are highly effective at removing viruses. 

A research letter by German scientists, published by JAMA, analysed the transmission of the coronavirus on an international flight where a tourist group with infected members were among the passengers. Their case study focused on a flight of just under five hours from Tel Aviv in Israel to Frankfurt in Germany on a Boeing 737-900, with a total of 102 passengers.

The flight took place in March, before measures like masks were implemented. The group was tested for the virus on arrival in Germany, and seven were found to be positive. Four of them had shown symptoms during the flight, two were presymptomatic, and one remained asymptomatic.

They also interviewed 91% of the rest of the passengers on the flight, checking for Covid-19 symptoms and did antibody tests on 13 passengers six to nine weeks after the flight.Of these passengers, two tested positive, while seven reported having had Covid-19-like symptoms within 14 days after the flight, but tested negative for antibodies.

READ MORE | Coronavirus on a plane: Scientists looked at transmission of the virus on an international flight

HEALTH TIPS (as recommended by the NICD and WHO)

• Maintain physical distancing – stay at least one metre away from somebody who is coughing or sneezing

• Practise frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as your hands touch many surfaces and could potentially transfer the virus

• Practise respiratory hygiene – cover your mouth with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to dispose the tissue immediately after use.

Image credit: Getty Images

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