South Africa

COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Gauteng suspends official involved in irregular awarding of PPE contracts

COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES | Gauteng suspends official involved in irregular awarding of PPE contracts

August 9 2020 - 6:41

US sets record as coronavirus cases top 5 million

The US set a record for coronavirus cases on Saturday, with more than 5 million people now infected, according to a Reuters tally, as the country's top infectious diseases official offered hope earlier this week that an effective vaccine might be available by year-end.

With one out of every 66 residents infected, the US leads the world in Covid-19 cases, according to a Reuters analysis. The country has recorded more than 160,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world's total.

The grim milestone comes as President Donald Trump signed executive orders intended to provide economic relief to Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic after the White House failed to reach a deal with Congress.

—ReutersUS sets record as coronavirus cases top 5 million

August 9 2020 - 6:31

'It has been a challenging time': Women working on Covid-19 frontline

Candice Sehoma negotiates with officials, meets pharmaceutical bigwigs, discusses making medicines affordable, then mobilises people and pickets for broader access to life-saving drugs.

A co-ordinator for Doctors Without Borders, she has campaigned to reduce the prices of new tuberculosis drugs and has turned her attention to Covid-19 and to campaigning against profiteering in medicines and vaccines.

Sehoma says SA’s patent system is weak and should “allow more manufacturers to produce ... to respond to Covid-19”.'It has been a challenging time': Women working on Covid-19 frontline

August 9 2020 - 6:29

Mangosuthu Buthelezi 'self-isolating at home' after contracting Covid-19

IFP founder and former leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has become the latest political figure to test positive for the coronavirus.

His family made the announcement in a statement yesterday, saying that the 91-year-old went for a test after being notified that he had come into contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case.

Buthelezi undertook the test despite the absence of symptoms at the time.Mangosuthu Buthelezi 'self-isolating at home' after contracting Covid...

August 9 2020 - 6:28

Gauteng suspends official involved in irregular awarding of PPE contracts

The net is closing on crooked officials and companies suspected of defrauding the Gauteng health department of hundreds of millions of rands by inflating the prices of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other Covid-19-related goods.

TheSunday Times can today reveal that provincial health authorities this week suspended a procurement executive after slapping her with a raft of financial misconduct charges. This comes as the Hawks in Gauteng launch a fraud investigation into the supply of PPE to the department.

Thandi Pino, the health department's supply chain chief director, was suspended on Friday morning. Pino's suspension - the first in the province in connection with Covid-19 procurement irregularities - was on the recommendation of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), asked by premier David Makhura in May to investigate any corruption in the awarding of PPE contracts.Gauteng suspends official involved in irregular awarding of PPE...

August 9 2020 - 6:27

'We have reason to be optimistic': How SA is taming Covid-19 storm

SA is finally seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel.

A steady decline in the infection rate and other critical indicators have raised hopes that the worst of the pandemic's first wave is over and that a relaxation of lockdown regulations could come as early as this week, after Tuesday's meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC).

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation no later than Saturday, when the state of disaster he declared in March is due to expire.'We have reason to be optimistic': How SA is taming Covid-19 storm