WRAP | Health dept wants Glenda Gray
investigated, Dlamini-Zuma pushes to delay tobacco, alcohol

WRAP | Health dept wants Glenda Gray investigated, Dlamini-Zuma pushes to delay tobacco, alcohol

The Covid-19 death toll has hit 397 – up by 28. The number of cases now sits at 20 125, an increase of 988.  

The Western Cape – the current epicentre – has nearly two-thirds of all cases, with 12 888. Gauteng has 2 521, and the Eastern Cape 2 459.

Here are the top stories of the day 

The acting director-general of the health department, Dr Anban Pillay, has requested an investigation into the conduct of Dr Glenda Gray, the president of the Medical Research Council, on the basis that she “made a number of false allegations against the government”. Gray has been critical of the government’s lockdown strategy.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has conceded that there has been increased pressure on the province’s health system, but has said that the province still has some capacity. Winde was speaking amid media reports that some hospitals are feeling the strain. The province is the country’s epicentre, and has more than 60% of the total number of Covid-19 cases.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is said to be pushing for tobacco and alcohol to only be sold when the country shifts down to lockdown Level 1.  Our report claims that this move was apparently supported by Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

The deputy minister of Trade and Industry Fikile Majola, says the country is moving to lockdown Level 3 soon, but there are still issues surrounding how that move will be handled. The country is expected to shift down to Level 3 on 1 June.

International headlines

A study of nearly 100 000 coronavirus patients has shown no benefit in treating them with antiviral drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine and even increased the likelihood of them dying in hospital. This drug is being used in the UK, and has been endorsed by the US and Brazil.

South America has become “a new epicentre” of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization said, following a surge in the number of Covid-19 infections.

More young people are dying of Covid-19 in Brazil than other countries, a trend driven partly by demographics – the overall population is younger – but also by poverty and the need to work.

The fortunes of US billionaires rose 15% in the two months since the coronavirus pandemic hit, a study found, with Amazon boss Jeff Bezos and Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg seeing massive gains.

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– Compiled by Kerushun Pillay


Source: News24

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