Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has now responded to outrage after attending Minister Jackson Mthembu's funeral minus a mask. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.
With the likes of President Cyril Ramaphosa and Deputy President David Mabuza in the building, one wonders how a single toe could be out of line at Jackson Mthembu's funeral.
However, Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has been met with outrage after attending minus a mask.
Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic below:
1. Premier apologetic after maskless blunder
Premier Refilwe Mtsweni-Tsipane has apologised for the 'brief period' that she spent in public minus a face mask.
South Africans were horrified when images of the Mpumalanga leader surfaced online attending Jackson Mthembu's funeral, to which the ANC politician has responded:
"The Premier notes the images circulating on social media wherein the Premier is seen without a mask as prescribed by the state of disaster regulation aimed at combating the spread of Covid-19. Upon arrival at the cemetery and disembarking from her vehicle, the Premier’s mask was somehow damaged and she was oblivious of that when it fell."
Despite the mask sitting on her face, the politician claims that she thought it was still intact during the ceremony:
"She thought it was intact as it was the case throughout. The Premier’s aides promptly sought a replacement mask which the Premier utilized for the rest of the proceedings. The Premier has extended her sincere apologies to the people of Mpumalanga and the country for that brief moment wherein her mask fell without her being aware or conscious of it."
2. Mkhize on latest statistics
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has once again updated South Africans on the latest Covid-19 statistics.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the Minister confirmed the latest number of infections:
"As of today, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 404 839 with 12 271 cases identified since the last report."
In addition to the number of cases recorded, Mkhize noted the latest fatalities in SA:
"Regrettably, 498 deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 45, Free State 17, Gauteng 201, Kwa-Zulu Natal 125, Limpopo 19, Mpumalanga 18, Northern Cape 2 and Western Cape 71 which brings the total to 40 574 deaths."
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that experts have warned the if the Covid-19 vaccine does not make to South Africa in time, a third and possibly deadlier wave of the virus might ravage the country.
Shabir Madhi, a vaccinologist, warned that if a third wave did hit, it would be too late to administer the vaccine to high-risk groups if there is a delay.
A number of experts who have been side-lined, including Glenda Gray, a South African Medical Research Council president professor, said that there was no clear date when the vaccines programme will be rolled out.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!