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COVID-19: Quick Weekend Insights

COVID-19: Quick Weekend Insights

Eleven people have died of the coronavirus in South Africa and the country now has 1,655 confirmed cases. While the numbers aren’t as high as was expected, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that this could be the calm before the storm as the numbers increased.



  • South Africa now has 1,655 confirmed cases. These figures were released on Sunday night.
  • Gauteng accounts for the majority of cases with 704.
  • This is followed by the Western Cape with 454 and then KwaZulu-Natal with 246.
  • We now have 11 deaths – the latest two deaths have been identified as pensioners with underlying health conditions.
  • So far, the number of tests done: 56,873 – the majority of these have been done through the private sector.
  • It’s important to note that while the numbers aren’t as high as was expected, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says this could be the calm before the storm as the numbers increase.



  • A meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the African Union’s Continental Response to COVID-19 was held. President Cyril Ramaphosa is the current Chairperson of the African Union.
  • This meeting was attended by 10 health ministers from African countries.
  • All countries shared their experiences thus far and it was agreed that we must strengthen our coordination efforts as a continent in order to limit the number of deaths and reduce the uncontrollable spread of this pandemic.
  • It was agreed that countries will share best practices and embark on a strategy to fundraise jointly in order to ensure self-sufficiency, promote manufacturing within the continent and pool procurement within member countries.


  • Government met with traditional health practitioners who indicated their willingness to participate in government’s campaign for a hygienic behaviour to the communities they serve.
  • The sector also expressed its concerns about their non-recognition as essential services providers.
  • They claimed that there are many citizens who consult with them and rely on their traditional herbs and remedies for their ailments.
  • Government says it is important to properly define their role during this lockdown period.
  • A KZN couple and their guests have spent the night in police custody after going ahead with their wedding, despite a ban on mass gatherings. They were arrested during the ceremony in Hlabisa yesterday. A video of the arrests show the bride being escorted to a police van in her wedding gown.
  • Denel is getting involved in the fight against COVID-19 – the company is leading a project to design and produce a prototype of a local mechanical ventilator. There’s a desperate need for ventilators globally as COVID-19 cases increase.


  • Over 69,000 people have died worldwide – out of over 1.2 million cases.
  • Just over 262,000 have recovered.
  • President Donald Trump has expressed hope that the US is seeing a “levelling-off” of the coronavirus crisis in some of the nation’s hot spots.
  • But some medical advisors have taken a more tempered view.
  • New York – the hardest-hit state reported yesterday that for the first time in a week, deaths had fallen slightly from the day before, but there are still nearly 600 new fatalities and more than 7,300 cases.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taken to hospital on advice of his doctor. It was confirmed that he had the virus last month and has been in isolation since then.
  • Queen Elizabeth II addressed the nation last night in a rare televised speech and called for unity – she also thanked staff at the UK’s national health service, carers and others carrying out essential services.
  • It’s the beginning of the Holy Week in the Christian calendar leading up to Easter Sunday. In the Catholic Church, this is usually marked by a service in the Vatican attended by thousands. However, Pope Francis delivered his Palm Sunday address to only a handful of people this year, sitting in the vast St Peter’s Basilica.