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Covid-19 update: SA sees record fatalities, restaurants protest

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Covid-19 update: SA sees record fatalities, restaurants protest

SA has recorded the highest number of fatalities in a single day, while the restaurant industry rebels against lockdown restrictions. zanewsonline.co.za explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 pandemic.

South Africa’s death toll spiked on Wednesday while the restaurant industry protested lockdown regulations.

Researchers are now questioning the accuracy of the state’s Covid-19 statistics, saying more excess fatalities are being recorded.

1. SA records 572 fatalities in single day

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has updated South Africa on the latest Covid-19 statistics.

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, the minister confirmed more infections:

“As of today, a cumulative total of 394 948 confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa have been recorded.”

This included confirmation of the highest number of deaths recorded in a single day since the onset of the pandemic:

“Regrettably we report 572 new COVID-19 related deaths. This brings the cumulative number of deaths to 5 940. We convey our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the health care workers who treated the deceased. The number of recoveries currently stands at 229 175 which translates to a recovery rate of 58%”

2. Restaurant industry protests lockdown restrictions

The restaurant industry has been hard-hit by government restrictions limiting how business can be done during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Numerous protests have been taking place as the sector hopes to compel the state to relax certain measures, including the prohibition of alcohol sales and the 21:00 curfew.

The Restaurants Association of SA arranged the protests, handing over a memorandum of the industry’s demands to Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane,

Despite being allowed to open last month, the restrictions have made it nearly impossible to attract customers resulting in a financially crippling situation.

3. Researchers question gap between Covid-19 deaths and natural deaths

The South African Medical Research Council and the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Actuarial Research has noted that 17 090 more natural deaths have occurred between 6 May and 14 July.

Researchers say this raises concerns over the accuracy of Covid-19 deaths reported by the government:

“In the past weeks, the numbers have shown a relentless increase – by the second week of July, there were 59% more deaths from natural causes than would have been expected based on historical data. It also means that reported deaths have shown a pattern that is completely different to those indicated by historical trends.”

Professor Debbie Bradshaw says that the timing and geographic pattern ‘leaves no room to question whether this is associated’ with the pandemic.

Meanwhile, zanewsonline.co.za reported that Deputy President David Mabuza is suffering from ‘ill health’ and has cancelled a question session in Parliament as a result.

While Mabuza’s exact ailment has not been disclosed, Thandi Modise and Amos Masondo has confirmed his absence in a statement issued by both officers:

“The Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Thandi Modise and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Mr Amos Masondo have received an apology from Deputy President Mr David Mabuza, that he is unable to honour scheduled appearances in both Houses due to ill health.”

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