South Africa’s coronavirus deaths have now passed 10,000, while total cases have breached the 550,000 mark.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced that there are now a total of 553,188 cases of coronavirus in South Africa. This is an increase of 7,712 cases from the 545,476 infections reported previously.

The data shows that there are 301 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total to 10,210 casualties, following 305 deaths reported on Friday.

Dr Mkhize pointed to 404,568 recoveries to date. A total of 3. million tests have been conducted, with tests conducted over the past 24 hours, the minister said.

Since 31 December 2019 and as of 8 August 2020, approximately 19.6 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported, including around 725,000 deaths.

The data pointed to approximately 12.6 million recoveries to date.

A severe household water shortage facing two out of five people in the world is undermining efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

Frequent and thorough hand washing are among the most effective measures in restricting the spread of the virus because the primary routes of transmission are droplets and direct contact, according to the World Health Organisation.

Yet, some 3 billion people don’t have access to running water and soap at home, and 4 billion suffer from severe water scarcity for at least one month a year, the United Nations group UN-Water said.

“It is a disastrous situation for people living without access to safe water and safely managed sanitation,” UN-Water Chair Gilbert F. Houngbo said in an interview. “The chronic underinvestment has left billions vulnerable and we are now seeing the consequences.”

Western Cape alcohol call

The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it welcomes the statement by Western Cape premier, Alan Winde on his Government’s resolution to allow for the sale of alcohol and the safe reopening of all businesses.

According to Winde, data indicates that the Western Cape has passed its peak with hospital admissions falling.

“It is very clear that we now to urgently turn out focus to the economic disaster that is playing itself out across the country.

“That is why it is critical that the alcohol ban is lifted which is having devastating effects on jobs and the economy in the Western Cape and across the country,” the political party said.

Farmers, farm workers and retailers are suffering due to this illogical ban by the National Government, it said.

South African Medical Research Council President, Dr. Glenda Gray has already stated that there is sufficient hospital space to allow for the lifting of the alcohol ban which correlates Premier Winde’s data, the DA said.

“From restaurants being able to sell alcohol to tourism related sectors, we must give every business owner the fighting chance to stay open and protect the employment of their workers.”

Winde previously noted that tens of thousands of jobs have been lost and even more are under threat if immediate action is not taken to lift the alcohol ban and open up the economy.

“The Western Cape can do so in a safe and responsible way which allows people the opportunity to rebuild their lives after suffering incredible financial hardships due to the lockdown.

“This would also be consistent with the so-called “risk adjusted approach’” touted by President Ramaphosa which was supposed to allow districts and provinces to move down levels of the lockdown as the situation improved in those areas,” the DA said.

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