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Latest from South Africa on Covid-19

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From News24: (click here for regular updates):

18:25 Mkhize to do Q&A with doctors soon

Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, is expected to conduct a question and answer session with the medical fraternity at 18:30 in Pretoria, along with the South African Medical Association.

18:11: The City of Cape Town closes Green Point Park and Company’s Garden

Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Dan Plato, says the City will temporarily close the Green Point Park and Company’s Garden, in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Plato did not give an indication of how long those places will be closed.

“The City would also like to indicate to residents that many public open spaces like community parks and beaches cannot be closed. Lifeguards will remain on duty at designated beaches to respond in the case of any water-related emergencies,” he said.

17:42: Another Cape university confirms Covid-19 case – this time, Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch University has its first confirmation of a staff member who has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, university rector and vice-chancellor Wim de Villiers announced on Thursday.

“A member of staff at the Tygerberg Campus who had recently travelled abroad is in self-isolation and is being treated under the supervision of the Provincial and National Departments of Health. We wish our colleague all the best for the self-isolation period and a full recovery,” he said.

Currently, the University of Cape Town has two known cases, while the University of the Western Cape announced their first confirmed case on Thursday morning.

17:22: India orders one day curfew to test ‘country’s ability’ to take measures against virus concerns

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday ordered the country’s 1.3 billion population to follow a one-day curfew to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Modi said in an address to the nation that the curfew would be on Sunday from 7:00 to 21:00 to test the giant country’s ability to take tough measures against what he called a growing crisis.

The measure would be “in the interest of the country to follow and prepare us for future challenges.”India has reported 173 positive virus cases and four deaths. – AFP

17:02: PSL to uphold suspension, season to conclude 30 June

In a press conference in Johannesburg on Thursday, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) board upheld their decision made earlier in the week to suspend all soccer in the country.

PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza confirmed that the board of governors of the organisation agreed that the season must come to an end by “no later than 30 June”.

“The board of governors, which was led by all teams of the Premier Division and GladAfrica Championship, resolved that NSL values the lives of our stakeholders,” said Khoza. More quotes from Khoza on Sport24

16:47: THE NUMBERS GAME | Covid-19 mortality was 1.4% in outbreak epicentre: study

WHO data questioned on mortality rate

The novel coronavirus proved deadly in 1.4% of all people infected in the Chinese outbreak city of Wuhan, far lower than global estimates of the killer pandemic, researchers revealed on Thursday.

Covid-19 cases are soaring, with more than 200 000 confirmed since cases emerged in Wuhan late last year. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said this month that Covid-19 proves deadly in 3.4% of confirmed cases.

But with limited testing capacity and confirmed cases likely to be towards the severe end of the spectrum, several experts have suggested the true mortality rate may be significantly lower.

A team of researchers in China has now reviewed eight separate public and private data sources on Covid-19 in Wuhan, and believe they have come up with a more accurate mortality estimate.

These include: data on confirmed cases with no contact with the market where the outbreak originated; confirmed air passenger cases; age distribution of confirmed cases and deaths; and time between onset and death.

They found that the probability of dying after developing Covid-19 symptoms was 1.4%. AFP.

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