Easter Weekend is upon South Africa but the coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly dampened spirits nationwide. Briefly.co.za explores six of the latest updates on the situation.
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Easter Weekend has arrived in Mzansi but Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has warned motorists against taking chances amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Travel over provincial lines is still prohibited and law enforcement will be out in numbers to ensure the rules are followed.
Briefly.co.za explores six of the latest updates as SA continues to battle the outbreak:
1. SAPS investigating photo of officers enjoying drinks in uniform
A photo of two female police officers has caused an uproar in Mzansi after it was alleged the pair were enjoying confiscated alcohol.
With strict lockdown measures restricting the sale of liquor during this time, the allegation that the women were enjoying seized drinks had citizens up in arms.
The SA Police Service has since confirmed that they are probing the incident and urged anyone with information to come forward.
2. Coronavirus: Number of confirmed cases rises to 1 845, 5 fatalities
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced the latest statistics amid a continued battle against the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement released by the Health Ministry, Mkhize noted a continued increase in the number of positive cases in South Africa:
"As at today, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is 1 845. This is an increase of 96 from the previously reported cases."
In addition to the increase in cases, Mkhize noted that the number of fatalities has increased during this crisis:
"Today we are saddened to report 5 more Covid-19 related deaths. This takes the total number of deaths to 18. We convey our condolences to the family of the deceased and also appreciate the health workers who treated the deceased patients."
3. Fact check: No, Ramaphosa did not call on foreigners to go home
It is fake news that President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered foreign immigrants to leave Mzansi, blaming them for spreading Covid-19.
Minister Jackson Mthembu denies Ramaphosa expelled foreigners and said the lockdown will not be extended by three months as spread on social media. Immigrants' organisations call for culprits spreading fake news on Covid-19 to be arrested.
4. Coronavirus: Ramaphosa contemplates SA's future over lockdown
President Cyril Ramaphosa has not yet committed to a decision over whether or not the current lockdown will be extended.
Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu who confirmed that Ramaphosa is making 'serious decisions' over SA's future amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Experts claim that prematurely lifting the lockdown could lead to an increase in infections while economists warn that prolonging the lockdown could cause irreparable damage to the economy. Mthembu explained that the first task is assessing whether the objectives in the fightback effort have been achieved, namely to 'flatten the infection curve'.
5. Africa's leaders support WHO head after Trump threatens to cut funding
African leaders have come to the defence of the World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who also is chairperson of the African Union, commended Ghebreyesus for 'exceptional leadership' from the earliest stages of the international crisis:
“The AU calls upon the international community to join hands to support the efforts of the DG and the entire WHO family as they lead global efforts to fight this pandemic. If there was a time for global unity, solidarity and cooperation, this is that time.”
US President Donald Trump had claimed the WHO favoured China, threatening to cut US contributions despite the current emergency.
6. Covid-19: Mbalula warns motorists against taking chances over Easter
The usually-festive Minister Fikile Mbalula has clamped down ahead of what is usually one of the busiest weekends on Mzansi roads.
The Transport Minister made it clear that those caught trying to take chances during this period will be facing the full might of the law:
"Law enforcement will be intensified and authorities will not hesitate to ensure that the full might of the law is brought to bear on those who continue to break it."
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