Third premier tests positive, doctors appeal for oxygen concentrators and ANC maps out post-pandemic economic revival plan

By Christi Nortier 10 July 2020

On Friday, doctors volunteering at Nasrec Field Hospital in Johannesburg put out an urgent public appeal for oxygen concentrators to treat patients seriously ill with Covid-19 while more beds with piped oxygen are set up. Gauteng Premier David Makhura confirmed he’d tested positive for Covid-19. The ANC has released a discussion document on its vision for a post-pandemic economic revival and the country’s first antibody test has been approved.







Scroll through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 10 July at district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments but KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State did not provide an update by the time of publishing:










A group of healthcare professionals has made an urgent appeal to the public to lend them their oxygen concentrators or donate money for rental of these lifesaving machines. The group is volunteering at Nasrec Field Hospital in Johannesburg and need the machines to help patients who are seriously ill until more beds with piped oxygen are added to the facility.

As Estelle Ellis writes, the group has not been able to source machines from suppliers in the province as they have been bought up by people for home use. They have secured 10 oxygenators, but need R180,000 to buy them.

If you would like to help, email [email protected], or send a WhatsApp message to Wilkinson on 072 509 7947 or Dr Tom Boyles on 079 108 1876.

The bank details are:

Account Name: WitsHealth

Bank: FNB

Branch code: 255005

Account no. 54861165389

Reference: AD51 Oxygen

Swift code is FIRNZAJJ

International branch code is 21055400

Meanwhile, the province’s Premier David Makhura has tested positive for Covid-19. This comes a day after the provincial health department said six members of its Covid-19 War Room had the virus.

“Given the fact that I only have mild symptoms, I will continue to ensure that the Provincial Executive Council and Provincial Coronavirus Command Council respond adequately to weather the storm of the pandemic,” said Makhura. Earlier this week, two other premiers tested positive for the virus – Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and North West Premier Job Mokgoro.

Drivers slow their cars as they stare at white satin ribbons tied to the green palisade fence of St James Church in Bedford Gardens, Johannesburg. The church’s priest and staff have been tying ribbons to the fence each morning to commemorate every life lost to Covid-19 in South Africa. Shaun Smilie took a walk around the neighbourhood and witnessed how Covid-19 has touched people’s lives in South Africa’s Covid-19 epicentre.

The ANC formally launched its discussion document on its vision for a post-pandemic economic revival on Friday afternoon. The proposals are still up for debate, with a promise that “various sectors of society as well as the general public” will be engaged. Carien du Plessis unpacks the document – from a green economy to nationalisation of the Reserve Bank.

In Eastern Cape, Mthatha’s field hospitals will only be ready in October – about three months after the province expects to reach its infection peak. As Estelle Ellis reports, the Eastern Cape legislature’s portfolio committee for health has slammed the provincial health department for the lengthy delay. It is also unsatisfied with the department’s plan to use tents to house patients in the meantime, and has asked for the tender process for marquees to be put on hold. 

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority has approved its first Covid-19 antibody rapid blood test kit. It is not for sale to the public or for use by general practitioners. Adele Baleta unpacks how it works and the way forward for its use. DM




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