Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now 17,200 confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

This is an increase of 767 cases from the 16,433 cases reported on Monday, when the country recorded 918 new infections, whilst the highest daily total of 1,160 new infections was recorded on Sunday.

Dr Mkhize said on Tuesday (19 May), that the total number of deaths has now reached 312 – an increase of 26 deaths from 286 reported before.

The minister said that 488,609 tests have been conducted – 13,538 in the past 24 hour cycle.

There have been 7,960 recoveries to date.

Coronavirus cases topped 4.9 million globally on Tuesday, while deaths have exceeded 320,000, with around 1.9 million recoveries.

Researchers are finding evidence that patients who test positive for the coronavirus after recovering aren’t capable of transmitting the infection, and could have the antibodies that prevent them from falling sick again, Bloomberg reported.

Scientists from the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied 285 Covid-19 survivors who had tested positive for the coronavirus after their illness had apparently resolved, as indicated by a previous negative test result.

The so-called re-positive patients weren’t found to have spread any lingering infection, and virus samples collected from them couldn’t be grown in culture, indicating the patients were shedding non-infectious or dead virus particles.

The findings, reported late Monday, are a positive sign for regions looking to open up as more patients recover from the pandemic that has sickened at least 4.8 million people.

The emerging evidence from South Korea suggests those who have recovered from Covid-19 present no risk of spreading the coronavirus when physical distancing measures are relaxed, Bloomberg said.

Relief Scheme

The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), an entity of the Department of Employment and Labour processed and paid Covid-19 TERS relief payments to the tune of R748 815 094.20 benefitting 149,263 workers represented by 9,362 employers.

This bring to 2 551 236 the total number of workers who have been given relief during lockdown which may be in lieu of or a top up to their salaries.

The total amount disbursed since April 16, 2020 has now topped R14 billion.

This is over and above the payments that the UIF makes to ordinary benefits payments which now stand at R1 849 992 773.21.

According to the UIF Commissioner, Teboho Maruping, with all the necessary information and documents furnished, the fund is now paying at 24 hours after the claim is made at best or 48-hours at worst.

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