111,796 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths climb to 2,205

Minister of health Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now 111,796 total cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

This is an increase of 5,688 cases from 106,108 cases reported on Tuesday, and a new 24-hour record.

The minister announced 103 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total up to 2,205, and a mortality rate of 2%, while recoveries increased to 56,874, which translates to a recovery rate of 50.9%.

A total of 1.416 million tests have been conducted to date, with 34,122 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, Dr Mkhize said.

Globally, since 31 December 2019 and as of 24 June 2020, 9.4 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported, including in excess of 480,000 deaths, and more than 5 million recoveries.

The International Monetary Fund downgraded its outlook for the coronavirus-ravaged world economy, projecting a significantly deeper recession and slower recovery than it anticipated just two months ago, Bloomberg reported.

The fund said Wednesday it now expected global gross domestic product to shrink 4.9% this year, more than the 3% predicted in April. For 2021, the fund forecast growth of 5.4%, down from 5.8%.

Frontline aid

National Treasury has set aside R21.5 billion for Covid‐19‐related healthcare spending for health and frontline services, as government continues to treat and contain the spread of the pandemic.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni revealed this while virtually delivering his Supplementary Budget on Wednesday. The budget was necessitated by president Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that government would spend R500 billion to support the economy’s resuscitation following the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

“[The budget] also proposes a further allocation of R12.6 billion to services at the frontline of our response to the pandemic. Allocations have been informed by epidemiological modelling, a national health sector COVID‐19 cost model and our experiences over the past 100 days,” the minister said.

This money, Mboweni said, partly supports increased screening and testing, allowing government to further open the economy.

“We have successfully increased our Covid‐19 bed capacity to above 27 000; identified 400 quarantine sites with a capacity of around 36 000 beds across the country and deployed nearly 50 000 community health care workers to screen millions of South Africans,” said the minister.

The country has already tested over 1.3 million people.

Provinces, reveals the budget, will add at least R5 billion for the education catch‐up plan, social welfare support for communities and provision of quarantine sites by Public Works Departments and responses in other sectors.

The minister saluted healthcare and essential service workers for their bravery in leading the fight.

Tariffs have been agreed with private hospitals to supplement public sector capacity.

Additionally, the president-initiated Solidarity Fund has augmented government’s efforts to procure medical and personal protective equipment.

“We thank all those who have made much needed contributions to the fund. These examples show that working together with the private sector with a common purpose, we can get stuff done. We will use these lessons to re‐energise public‐private partnerships,” he said.

Read: The emergency budget in a nutshell

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111,796 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa as deaths climb to 2,205