Covid-19 update: Ramaphosa warns crooks, EFF defends booze ban

Covid-19 update: Ramaphosa warns crooks, EFF defends booze ban

The long weekend has drawn to a close but the festivities were dampened this year in the face of the coronavirus crisis. explores 5 of the latest updates on the situation.

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South Africans around the nation had to adjust to spending the Easter weekend away from friends and family.

While the situation may seem grim, the experts are convinced that the nation has managed to delay and perhaps even lessen the expected flood of infections. explores 5 of the latest updates on the crisis:

1. Covid-19 cases spike to 2 173: Mkhize explains it's increased screening

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has noted a concerningly large increase in coronavirus cases.

The minister revealed that the figure had climbed by 145 cases from the previous day to 2 173.

However, the Health Ministry had some good news for SA with the number of fatalities staying unchanged at 24. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 80 085 tests have been carried out with the Department commenting:

"We are also seeing an increase in tests conducted at public laboratories. Of the 5,032 tests conducted in the past day, 3,192 were done in public laboratories."

2. Coronavirus: Ramaphosa makes a promise to all lockdown criminals

President Cyril Ramaphosa's letter to the nation amid an extended lockdown was addressed to those involved in criminal activities.

Ramaphosa made it clear that there would be no mercy for those who attempt to try their luck:

"I have a message for those callous criminals who think they can take advantage. The criminal justice system is not on leave. You will be arrested, you will be tried and you will be put behind bars." The president said that while most citizens were playing their part in the effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, criminals were seeking to exploit this crisis."

3. Covid-19: EFF slams Manuel's appointment in Ramaphosa's AU envoy

The Economic Freedom Fighters are up in arms over the deployment of Trevor Manuel as part of President Cyril Ramaphosa's Special Envoy of the African Union. In a statement on the situation, the political party called on the entire continent to reject Manuel's appointment

"The EFF calls on the African continent to reject Ramaphosa's appointment of Trevor Manuel as Special Envoy of the African Union. In this role, Manuel is supposed to mobilise international support for Africa's efforts to address economic challenges faced by the continent during the spread of Covid-19."

4. EFF wants alcohol ban to stay to help maintain lockdown quarantine

The Economic Freedom Front (EFF) want to keep the alcohol ban in place for as long as lockdown is in place. They claim that there is no scientific reason for lifting the alcohol ban now. learned that the Gauteng Liquor Forum, who represents about 20 000 businesses, says that it is willing to take the matter to court if the restrictions aren't lifted. In a statement issued on the situation, the forum claims that the rules are unreasonable and unconstitutional:

"It is exactly the prohibition on the selling of alcohol by our clients during the lockdown period which is at the epicentre of the present challenge by our clients."

However, the EFF has taken a different stance. They believe the alcohol is not essential and that the sale of liquor would threaten the effectiveness of the lockdown as people would gather and place an unnecessary strain on the resources of the country.

5. Covid-19 : Report indicates virus will hit peak in September

The decision to extend the national lockdown in the face of the coronavirus pandemic has bought the government some time.

News24 reports that a government projection reveals the worst-case scenario has now been postponed to September.

Had the lockdown not been implemented, SA was expected to hit peak infections in July. While the lockdown has brought the economy to a grinding halt, the state has been given two months extra to prepare for a flood of infections.

This scenario predicts that Gauteng would exceed 1.5 million infections, with KwaZulu-Natal expected to hit 1 million. The number of ventilators needed is more than double the amount on hand. Critical care hospital beds are also deemed too little to deal with the outbreak, with South Africa only having just over 3 000 while 7 000 is needed.

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