The Covid-19 death toll has hit 2 952, while the number of cases now sits at 177 124.
The total number of recoveries is now 86 296 – a recovery rate of 48.7%.
Here’s what made the headlines today
Demand for the Covid-19 drug dexamethasone appears to be on the rise, with producers of the medication having cleared its stock. Fresenuis Kabi, a German pharmaceutical company which manufactures in the Eastern Cape, has sold out all its stock. Another manufacturer, Aspen, has run out of stock. The medication has been hailed as a breakthrough, and the health department has begun administering it to some Covid-19 patients.
As Gauteng prepares for a Covid-19 storm, some 1 600 residents in hotspot areas in Johannesburg are due to be relocated. The City will move people from wards 108 and 109 to safer places.
The National Health Laboratory Service has fired Gibela Trade and Invest, a courier company, after it had lost samples of Covid-19 tests in transit while travelling on the N2 in the Eastern Cape. The company was said to have behaved negligently.
As schools prepare to welcome more grades, there has been pushback in KwaZulu-Natal, whose provincial education department is not allowing the return of Grade R pupils on Monday. On Thursday, the government announced that Grades R, 6 and 11 will be allowed back from next week.
Meanwhile, an independent schools body has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa asking to allow all pupils to return to its member schools. The body says it has devised a plan for this kind of reintroduction, including physical distancing measures and temperature screenings.
The cigarette war continues, with tobacco association Fair Trade Independent Association lodging an application for leave to appeal a court ruling which dismissed its challenege to overturn the government’s ban on the sale of tobacco.
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– Compiled by Kerushun Pillay