Seven more people have died from Covid-19 in South Africa. The Health Department said five of the new deaths happened in the Western Cape, while the other two in KwaZulu-Natal.
The number of positive cases now sits at 3 635 – an increase of 170.
Some promise has been shown, however, in the epicentre Gauteng, where 781 people have recovered.
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A draft plan from the Presidency says the country would face serious economic strain if the lockdown is extended. This includes tourism, aviation and arts sectors left so bloodied that they would likely only be able to pay 5% of their staff at the end of May.
The same draft plan says wearing cloth masks may be compulsory when using any form of transport, when the lockdown is eventually lifted. Business Insider reports that the plan also suggests that the country continues to restrict travelling between provinces and that restaurants stay closed.
Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams was slapped with a R1 000 fine after pleading guilty for contravening lockdown regulations. The minister hit headlines this month after a photo of her at a luncheon with former Deputy Higher Education Minister, Mduduzi Manana, for which she later apologised.
DA interim leader John Steenhuisen has found himself in hot water after he tweeted a letter saying President Cyril Ramaphosa had authorised the deployment of an additional 73 000 army members to assist with coronavirus fight until 26 June. The Joint Standing Committee on Defence has agreed to refer Steenhuisen to national Speaker Thandi Modise.
Police Minister Bheki Cele announced that murders are down by 1 110, when comparing from 27 March this year and the rate in March-April last year. The minister attributed this drop to the alcohol ban, increased patrols and the lockdown.
Tensions are boiling over in Cape Town, with yet more incidents of unrest over food – this time, residents tried to loot Watergate Mall.
The US has committed an extra R250 million to assist South Africa’s Covid-19 fight. In total, the US has given South Africa R410 million.
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