Inside Covid-19: China shows SA “normality” 10 weeks away; World loses $500bn in FDI – Ep 8

Welcome to episode eight of Inside Covid-19 where we get an on-the-ground report from Shanghai to assess the timeline for South Africa to get back to some normality, and hear from the United Nations that the virus has already wiped $500bn off foreign direct investment. Also in this episode, we get to feel how the lockdown is impacting informal entrepreneurs and join the press conference for an update on the country’s new Solidarity Fund. – Alec Hogg

In the Covid-19 headlines today

  • The official number of South Africans infected with Covid-19 rose by 4% yesterday to 1,326, with a third death reported in last night’s update to the nation by president Cyril Ramaphosa. This number is likely to rise sharply in the weeks ahead, however as Ramaphosa said 10,000 field workers are being deployed to conduct tests for the virus. He said that mobile phone technology would be used to trace and isolate people who were in contact with those who test positive.
  • Confirmed global infections have risen above 750,000 with 20% of them in the USA – almost twice as many cases as China’s 82,000, of whom 76,000 are reported as having recovered. Italy, with almost 100,000 confirmed cases and Spain at 85 000 are also both above China according to data compiled by John Hopkins University. Global deaths from Covid-19 now exceed 35 000 with a third Italians and 20% Spaniards.
  • Naspers has committed R1.5bn in emergency aid in the war against Covid-19, a third of which will be injected into the new Solidarity Fund created by president Cyril Ramaphosa when he announced the 21 day lockdown last week. The Naspers contribution will double the size of the fund to R1bn. Naspers together with the Chinese government and its 31% associate Tencent, will secure R1bn worth of protective clothing and other medical supplies and fly it to South Africa as soon as possible. Banking group FirstRand announced that it has established a R100m fund to support the medical sector, helping to fund the purchase of 100,000 Covid-19 testing kits which arrived from Europe today.
  • From the US, President Donald Trump’s about turn continued with his announcement that he is extending the country’s social distancing rules until the end of April. He said the peak in the death rate was expected to hit in the next two weeks. Meanwhile in China, the major industrial provinces are now resuming production after shutting down two months ago.
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