Covid-19 update: ANC meets over tender scandal, mass morgue opens

Covid-19 update: ANC meets over tender scandal, mass morgue opens

The Western Cape has opened a field morgue to deal with the expected surge in Covid-19 fatalities. explores the latest updates on the pandemic in South Africa.

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The Western Cape is bracing for peak infections while the Gauteng province is attempting to handle a Covid-19 relief fund tender scandal. explores the latest stories on SA's continued battle against the virus:

1. Field morgue opens to help deal with 'mass fatalities'

An emergency mass-morgue, capable of holding hundreds of bodies, has been established in the Western Cape province.

The site was build to hold around 770 corpses at a time in the Tygerberg Hospital precinct with a large field hospital also erected nearby, reports News24.

Speaking to the publication, Department of Health spokesperson Mark van der Heever commented:

"The mass fatality centre consists of 12 containers on site and is connected to three-phase power. It currently has 576 racking space and, once the remaining racks are delivered, will have a total storage capacity of 624 spaces. The facility is fully operational and has received nine cases to date and assists in scientific identifications where required, issuing the cause of death certificates and offers bereavement counselling to those families that visit the centre."

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has defended the move, saying that the DA-run province wanted to be prepared for the worst:

"A caring, responsible government needs to do this, so that we are never caught wanting. You plan for the worst but intervene to get the best possible outcome."
Covid-19 update: ANC meets over tender scandal, mass morgue opens
The ANC is gathering to discuss Diko and Masuku's implication in alleged Covid-19 tender irregularities. Image: GCIS
Source: UGC

READ ALSO: Ramaphosa's spokesperson takes leave of absence over tender scandal

2. 190 New Covid-19 fatalities

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has confirmed the latest update on SA's continued battle against Covid-19.

In a statement issued by the Health Ministry, Mkhize noted the number of infections in the country:

"As of today, a cumulative total of 459 761 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa have been recorded."

The minister also updated the nation on the number of fatalities recorded over the past 24 hours:

"Regrettably we report 190 new COVID-19 related deaths: 11 from Eastern Cape, 55 from Gauteng, 62 from KwaZulu Natal, 49 from Western Cape, and 13 from North West. This brings the cumulative number of deaths to 7 257. The number of recoveries currently stands at 287 313 which translates to a recovery rate of 62,5%"

READ ALSO: Masuku: EFF, COSATU join calls for resignation amid tender scandal

3. ANC to meet in Gauteng over PPE corruption scandal

The ANC's provincial executive committee is meeting on Wednesday in Gauteng to discuss Covid-19 relief fund tender corruption allegations.

This comes as two of the regional members were implicated in a questionable R125 million personal protective equipment tender scandal.

With President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko and Health MEC Bandile Masuku implicated, the party has promised that it will release a report following the meeting.

Earlier, reported that Diko had opted to take a leave of absence after the allegations emerged against her husband, who owns the company who scored the tender in question.

Masuku, who is said to have close ties to Diko, has denied any wrongdoing in the contract awarded by his department.

Both the EFF and COSATU have called for the MEC's resignation over the ordeal, adamant that he should stand down until his name has been cleared.

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