Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now 131,800 total cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

This is an increase of 7,210 cases from 124,590 cases reported on Friday – and a record 24-hour high for the country.

The minister announced 73 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total up to 2,413, and a mortality rate of 1.8%, while recoveries increased to 67,094 which translates to a recovery rate of 50.9%.

A total of 1.52 million tests have been conducted to date, with 35,905 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, Dr Mkhize said.

Globally, since 31 December 2019 and as of 27 June 2020, in excess of 9.93 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported, including in excess of 497,000 deaths, and more than 5.38 million recoveries.

Speed isn’t the only thing that matters in the quest for a vaccine to end the Covid-19 pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

They may not cross the finish line first, but dozens of companies and universities still see an opening for inoculations that prevent more infections, provide lasting immunity, protect older and more vulnerable people, yield massive quantities or ship easily throughout the world.

Those are benefits the front-runners may not be able to deliver.

Some of the world’s most prolific and experienced vaccine developers – Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Merck & Co – are among at least 100 challengers trailing the leaders.

While they haven’t begun testing their experimental shots in humans, the companies are emerging as formidable contenders in the race to halt the virus.

Restaurants to open Monday

Restaurants, fast-food outlets and coffee shops in South Africa can reopen after lockdown rules imposed in late March were eased, Bloomberg reported, but won’t be allowed to serve alcohol or offer self-service buffets, according to new industry health protocols.

The eateries will also have to ensure patrons wear face masks unless they are eating or drinking and are seated at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart, while tables and menus will be sanitized after each use.

Sit-down restaurants

  • Restaurants are required to conduct a screening questionnaire on guests. Restaurants may refuse admission if they deem a guest is a safety risk;
  • No person may enter the premises without a cloth mask or any homemade item that covers the nose and mouth;
  • Masks must be worn at all times except where eating and drinking;
  • All guests must sanitise before entering the premises;
  • There must be distance of at least 1.5 metres between the customer and the point-of-sale serving counter. The same distance will also apply to queuing customers and between queues at different till points;
  • Customers should also be seated 1.5 metres apart;
  • Restaurants should consider a reservation system where possible to manage demand and ensure capacity limits.

Read: ANC considers additional tax to fund a R500 monthly income grant