Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now 27,403 confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

This is an increase of 1,466 cases from the 25,937 cases reported before.

Dr Mkhize said on Friday (29 May), that the total number of deaths has now reached 577 – an increase of 25 deaths from 552 reported before.

The minister said that 655,723 tests have been conducted, with 14,370 recoveries to date.

Globally, coronavirus cases topped 5.9 million globally on Friday, while deaths have exceeded 362,000, with more than 2.5 million recoveries.

Glaxo says its adjuvant can reduce the amount of vaccine required per dose, allowing more people to be immunized, and create longer-lasting immunity, according to a statement Thursday.

The UK drugmaker is also working to develop a vaccine, but the two efforts are separate. “More than one vaccine will be needed to address this global pandemic,” Roger Connor, president of Glaxo’s vaccines operation, said in the statement.

Slowly but not surely, the world economy is emerging from its coronavirus-enforced hibernation, Bloomberg reported.

As governments ease lockdowns of businesses and allow consumers to travel and shop again, measures of high-frequency data and confidence increasingly suggest a bottom has been reached in the worst global recession since the Great Depression.

A legacy of higher unemployment, bankruptcies and health fears also means recoveries are likely to be slow and sluggish after an initial bounce, with a full rebound unlikely before the discovery of a vaccine.

The risk remains that the deadly virus could spike again, forcing constraints to be slapped back on.

“The picture is generally getting better, but it is a slow crawl out,” Deutsche Bank Securities chief economist Torsten Slok told Bloomberg Television. “We are standing at the bottom of the canyon and looking up.”

Lockdown level 3 regulations

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) has further outlined the regulatory changes for South Africa’s lockdown level 3 which will begin on 1 June.

At a media briefing on Thursday (28 May 2020), Cogta minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that all of the country’s economic sectors will be opened, albeit with restrictions.

She said that the government’s strategy is based on sound scientific advice as well as international organisations such as the Whorl Health Organisation (WHO). However, she noted that due to the country’s unique economic factors the country has had to ease the lockdown.

Some of the key prohibitions announced by Dlamini-Zuma under lockdown level 3 include:

  • Public facilities for sport;
  • Entertainment;
  • Leisure or exhibition activities;
  • Gyms and fitness centres;
  • Sports grounds and swimming pools, except for the training of professional athletes and professional, non-contact matches;
  • Bazaars, night clubs, casinos, hotels, lodges, BnBs, resorts and guest houses – including Airbnbs;
  • Public and private game reserves;
  • Conference facilities;
  • All on-consumption premises like bars, taverns and shebeens;
  • Theatres and cinemas;
  • Museums;
  • Public parks and beaches.

The following activities will be permitted:

  • Sale of liquor will be permitted between Monday- and Thursday and between 09h00 – 17h00. E-commerce sales will be subject to the same times, while no liquor may be consumed onsite;
  • The sale of tobacco products remains prohibited;
  • Open travel between provinces and districts for students and teachers;
  • The lifting of the country’s curfew (20h00 – 05h00);
  • Increased exercise times – provided it is not done in groups and people wear masks;
  • Most people may return to work. However, there will be limits on the number of people in the workplace, with 1.5 metres distance needed between workers;
  • Food will be available from restaurants and takeaways for collection and delivery;
  • No inter-provincial travel except for funerals or for essential services under level 3;
  • Domestic travel will be allowed for business travellers;
  • Every company must have a Covid-19 plan and a compliance officer. This plan should be known by both the employer and employees and must be available for inspection;
  • No evictions are allowed during the level 3 lockdown.

Read: South Africa’s level 3 lockdown – what you need to know, including the times you can buy alcohol