559,858 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa with 198 new deaths

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has announced that there are now a total of 559,858 cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

This is an increase of 6,670 cases from the 553,188 infections reported previously.

The data shows that there are 198 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total to 10,408 casualties, following 301 deaths reported on Saturday.

Dr Mkhize pointed to 411,147 recoveries to date.

A total of 3.25 million tests have been conducted, with 30,318 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, the minister said.

Since 31 December 2019 and as of 9 August 2020, approximately 19.85 million cases of Covid-19 have been reported, including around 730,000 deaths.

The data pointed to approximately 12.75 million recoveries to date.

Prior to the pandemic, the wealthy never traveled so well. With the economy on solid ground and financial assets soaring to new highs, investment in the travel industry boomed, Bloomberg reported.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, one in 10 workers worldwide, or 330 million in all, owed their jobs to the travel and tourism industry.

In the five years through 2019, the sector was responsible for one in five of jobs created globally.

But that was the economy we once knew.

Now, this massive engine of growth has been thrown into reverse as Covid-19 continues to ping-pong around the globe. And unlike after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the scars inflicted on travel and tourism look to be permanent as companies shift away from massive travel budgets and experiential living becomes a memory.

Central bank pressure

South Africa is at risk of so-called “fiscal dominance,” or added pressure on the central bank to ease the load on public finances because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported, citing Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago.

There are strong institutional safeguards, such as the bank’s independence and its constitutional mandate to deliver stable prices, the newspaper said, citing Kganyago.

The Reserve Bank has been facing calls from politicians and unions to further deepen rate cuts and buy up more government bonds, Bloomberg said.

Kganyago defended the central bank’s response, saying it had cut the interest rate to a record low, relaxed accounting and capital rules to promote lending, and more than tripled its holdings of South African government debt.

He has previously warned that financing the government would ultimately bankrupt the central bank.

“I challenge anybody who’d dare say that the SARB has not done enough,” the Financial Times cited Kganyago as saying.


Read: Government to discuss new lockdown rules for South Africa this week

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559,858 confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa with 198 new deaths