South Africa reports 24-hour record of 1,160 new virus cases
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) nurse Bhelekazi Mdlalose (3rd L), 51, illustrates how to perform a swab test on a nurse participating in a COVID-19 coronavirus training course for nurses at the City of Joburg Civic Centre in Roodeport, Johannesburg, on May 13, 2020. Bhelekazi Mdlalose, who is employed by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), left her family and usual job in the mountain town of Rustenberg in March 2020 to support community work in Johannesburg.
AFP/Michele Spatari
South Africa reports 24-hour record of 1,160 new virus cases
Susan Njanji (Agence France-Presse) - May 18, 2020 - 7:50am

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — South Africa on Sunday reported 1,160 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily number since the first case was recorded in March, data released by the health ministry showed

"As of today, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa is 15,515 with 1,160 new cases identified in the last 24 hour cycle of testing," said the ministry statement.

The Western Cape province, popular with tourists, accounted for nearly 60 percent of the national numbers.

The numbers of deaths rose by three to 263 from Saturday.

Africa's most industrialised economy has the highest numbers of infections in Africa, followed by Egypt which has so far recorded 11,719 COVID-19 cases, including 612 deaths.

The country has been under a lockdown since March 27 — one of the world's most stringent confinements which include a ban on the sale of cigarettes and alcohol.

It has since embarked on an aggressive mass-testing strategy with 460,873 people tested so far.

But some health experts are beginning to see the limits of the country's lauded mass screening strategy, with results taking up to two weeks to come through.

Government has started to partially ease the lockdown regulations and is doing so in phases.

The economic costs of the lockdown have stoked disagreement in some quarters, with at least one advisor recently criticising certain aspects of the restrictions.

The opposition has also grown increasingly critical of the administration of President Cyril Ramaphosa's response to the outbreak.

The main opposition Democratic Alliance party on Thursday filed a legal suit challenging the rationale behind some of the coronavirus lockdown rules.

On Sunday Health Minister Zweli Mkhize came to Ramaphosa's defence and appealed for national unity in the fight against coronavirus.

"We need to be working together, we need to be united, we need to be strong to face this pandemic," he said in a eulogy at a memorial for a senior ruling ANC official and medical doctor who succumbed to COVID-19 related illness.

Doctor Clarence Mini died last week aged 69 after being hospitalised for more than a month.

He said Ramaphosa was doing "outstanding" work and that his decisions were informed by science.

"When there are people who are concerned whether there is science behind the decisions taken, there can only be science about it because we work with a whole group of medical experts who have various views.

"But at the end of the day we remain confident that the approaches we have taken are the best.

"There is a lot that is unknown about the disease which we might actually teach the world about or learn from the world about."

He added: "We just need to work together united and strong — until we see this outbreak through."

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS SOUTH AFRICA
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 27, 2020 - 4:12pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

November 27, 2020 - 4:12pm

The Department of Health reports 1,631 additional coronavirus cases. This brings the nationall tally to  425,918.

Of the confirmed cases, 30,047 are registered active. There are 370 more recoveries and 46 new fatalities.

November 27, 2020 - 12:14pm

An official says Germany's coronavirus infections pass one million.

November 26, 2020 - 5:37pm

Russia on Thursday registered record numbers for daily infections and deaths from the coronavirus for the second time in less than a week. 

Health officials reported 25,487 new infections, bringing the national total to 2,187,990 cases since the beginning of the pandemic — the fifth-highest caseload in the world.

Health authorities also reported 524 deaths, raising Russia's total fatalities from COVID-19 to 38,062. — AFP

November 26, 2020 - 2:14pm

South Korea reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since March on Thursday, with a surge of new infections sparking fears of a major third wave.

Officials announced 583 new cases after several weeks of fresh infections ranging between around 100 and 300.

The latest cases have mostly been clusters at offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the greater Seoul area, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.

New infections also emerged within the military, including dozens of newly enlisted soldiers at a boot camp — prompting the defense ministry to bolster its virus measures. — AFP

November 26, 2020 - 1:29pm

South Korea reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since March on Thursday, with a surge of new infections sparking fears of a major third wave.

Officials announced 583 new cases after several weeks of fresh infections ranging between around 100 and 300.

The latest cases have mostly been clusters at offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the greater Seoul area, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said. — AFP

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