First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Mkhize gives reason for ‘cautious optimism’, while...

Maverick Citizen

CORONAVIRUS DAILY DIGEST #116

Mkhize gives reason for ‘cautious optimism’, while government’s plan to restart school feeding scheme disappoints

Compilation image by Sahra Heuwel.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said there is reason for ‘cautious optimism’ as the country’s Covid-19 infection rate seems to be declining. Meanwhile, SECTION27 has expressed disappointment in the particulars of the government’s plan to restart the National School Nutrition Programme.

Scroll through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 5 August at the district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments. The Gauteng health department has not released these numbers since 2 August, when it published a notice that “data harmonisation” would delay the release of figures for that day. In addition, Free State, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga did not provide an update by the time of publishing:

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is “cautiously optimistic” about an apparent downward trend in South Africa’s Covid-19 infection rate. Speaking during Wednesday’s briefing on the outbreak, he said lockdown restrictions will probably stay put to prevent a second, bigger surge. In addition, Covid-19 tests will be done in all cases of sudden death to improve death records.

Daily-Digest-Outbreak-Decline: A chart showing the total number of Covid-19 tests performed alongside the positive cases confirmed in South Africa over time, according to data from the National Ins

A chart showing the total number of Covid-19 tests performed alongside the positive cases confirmed in South Africa over time, according to data from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases. It forms part of the institute’s National Covid-19 Daily Report. (Chart: National Institute of Communicable Diseases)

Some key figures from the briefing:

  • 3,078,202 people have been tested – that’s a testing rate of 51,514/million of the population;
  • KwaZulu-Natal has seen an increase of up to 3,000 new Covid-19 infections a day. However, this is slowing down;
  • Gauteng has seen an increase of up to 6,000 new infections a day, but this too is tapering off;
  • Two or three weeks’ wait is what it will take to confirm the apparent downward trend;
  • 24,104 health workers have been infected and 181 have died – the national infection rate of healthcare workers is 5%; and
  • ICU survival rate has risen from 20% to between 30% and 40%.

As Estelle Ellis reports, the first 17 health experts from the World Health Organisation’s Surge Team will arrive in South Africa on Wednesday. They will be deployed to Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

 

 

Minister of Health cautiously optimistic about infection rate, orders Covid-19 tests for all sudden deaths

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga and the provincial MECs have submitted their court-ordered plans on fully resuming the National School Nutrition Programme. The legal representative for two Limpopo school governing bodies, SECTION27, is concerned that the plans are incapable of being implemented as they lack detail and coherence. The plan will be finalised by the end of August and requires additional funding from the Treasury. Zukiswa Pikoli outlines the MECs’ reports on their progress so far.

Return to school feeding programme: The provinces respond

Meanwhile, most national parks are set to reopen accommodation to intra-provincial travellers from next week Friday, according to SANParks. They will allow tour operators to give guided safari vehicle tours once the relevant regulations are gazetted. Guests will have to provide proof of residence to show that they live in the province in which the park is located. DM/MC

Gallery

"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted