SA National Blood Service worker with coronavirus was not near blood banks or clinics

The SANBS has urged donors to contThe SANBS has urged donors to continue donating blood during the coronavirus outbreak. 
Image: 123RF/Sudok1
A SA National Blood Service worker employed at its head office in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday after travelling overseas — but did not go anywhere near clinics or blood banks.

In a statement to TimesLIVE, spokesperson Silungile Mlambo said the employee however had not been in contact with, or in proximity of, SANBS clinics or blood banks and that operations were continuing as normal.

Mhlambo said the employee informed the organisation immediately and precautionary measures were instantly put in place to safeguard employees and the community.

“All measures are being taken to protect our employees, donors and all stakeholders. There are presently no repercussions for patients needing SANBS.

“Our staff in the field are educated to disclose if they are feeling unwell or exhibiting any flu-like symptoms or symptoms of infection (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and shortness of breath), and have been asked not to come to work if they are unwell.”

Mhlambo said under the guidance of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the organisation identified all those who were in close direct contact with the affected colleague and, though at very low risk of infection, they were requested to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine and monitoring as recommend by the NICD and the World Health Organisation.

“It is extremely unlikely for these staff members to have become infected. This highly precautionary measure is to limit the risk of spread to other SANBS employees, families and the community at large.”inue donating blood during the coronavirus outbreak.Mlambo urged donors to keep donating blood to ensure that the life-saving blood stocks did not drop.

She said all donors would be screened at the door and mobile sites and their clinics were all equipped with additional antiseptic sprays and alcohol wipes.

“Importantly, we are also encouraging and educating donors to delay donation if they are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms or symptoms of infection until they are in good health or if they travelled to countries with known cases within the last 21 days.

“Finally, we want to reiterate previous statements that SANBS does not test for coronavirus as respiratory viruses are not transmitted through blood and that the public should not use SANBS donor centres as testing centres.”

Ladysmith Black Mambazo to return home from US due to coronavirus

Grammy-award winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo have had to suspend their US tour due to the coronavirus.Grammy-award winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo have had to suspend their US tour due to the coronavirus.
Image: Via Twitter
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, currently on an international tour in the USA, are set to return home after their concerts were cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The group’s management said their American tour had begun in January and was scheduled to end on March 23 2020.

“The legendary five-time Grammy Award-winning group was still left with performances in Stoughton, Viroqua, Grayslake-Illinois, Chicago, Bloomington, Cincinnati-Ohio, Grand Rapids-Michigan, Buffalo-New York and Viana-Virginia,” its management said in a statement.They will, however, return home on Thursday and will land in Durban.

“Upon arrival, they will be required to go through the necessary screening processes before being allowed to reunite with their families and or continue to participate in any SA public gatherings and or events,” the statement read.

This tour also coincided with the group’s 60th anniversary.

To mark this occasion, the group is also scheduled to take part in the second annual Inanda Dam World Music Festival at Inanda Dam on Sunday, March 29 2020.

“For now, this event is set to continue as planned until we get a different view from authorities about public gatherings in the country amid the Covid-19 outbreak,” the group said.

Coronavirus cases surge past 50, as 13 more patients confirmed

A total of 51 coronavirus positive infections have been recorded in SA.A total of 51 coronavirus positive infections have been recorded in SA.
Image: 123RF/Jarun Ontakrai
The number of people positively diagnosed with the coronavirus in SA has increased to 51.

The health department announced an increase of 13 patients on Sunday morning – from 38 cases recorded on Saturday.

The health ministry announced that seven of the new cases were in Gauteng, five in the Western Cape and one in KwaZulu-Natal.

This is a developing story.

R53m Lotto jackpot bagged

Someone out there has won the R53m lottery jackpot, says Ithuba.Someone out there has won the R53m lottery jackpot, says Ithuba.
Image: 123RF/Andriy Popov
National Lottery operator Ithuba has announced that SA has another millionaire.

It announced on Sunday that someone had bagged the R53m jackpot in the Lotto game from Saturday, March 14.

The winning numbers were 15, 16, 17, 29, 37, 39 and the bonus number 47.

Ithuba said there was also a winner in the Lotto Plus game, with that person walking away with R1.2m. The winning numbers there were 2, 5, 13, 24, 35, 44 and the bonus number 43.

It was not immediately clear where the tickets had been purchased.

Prasa lost billions to inexperienced contractors, Zondo hears

Former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa chair Popo Molefe made his third appearance at the Zondo commission of inquiry into State Capture on Friday, testifying about contracts worth billions that were awarded to contractors without the relevant skills or experience.Popo Molefe has been appointed the new interim cha

Judge Raymond Zondo, presiding over proceedings, heard that former CEO Lucky Montana was awarded lucrative locomotive procurement contracts to companies without the requisite qualifications in processes that were “fraudulent” and “corrupt”, according to Molefe.

One contract worth R3.5 billion was awarded to Swifambo Rail Leasing, while another company, Siyaya Consulting Engineers, received some R900 million from Prasa between 2010 and 2011.also previously reported that less than a week after Prasa made its first payment of nearly R500 million to Swifambo, the latter’s managing director paid R14.3 million into the account of a lawyer who had introduced himself as an ANC fundraiser. The total would come to nearly R80 million.

According to Molefe, Swifambo was initially meant to carry out the leasing of locomotives to be used for passenger services and for routes in various metro areas. The board later found that the company did not meet Prasa’s requirements and that its procurement was questionable.

“The investigation that we conducted demonstrated conclusively that that procurement process was fraudulent, corrupted, and that Swifambo itself, notwithstanding the fact that it did not meet the requirements set out in the RFP – they needed to demonstrate that they had skills necessary to carry out a program of the size and prominence that it was.

“Suddenly, Swifambo was allowed to offer a proposal on the manufacturing of locomotives, which was not part of the RFP right at the beginning. There were specifications around what would be needed by Prasa… what was to be leased or procured. [They] needed to comply with the rail safety regulators but they also needed to comply with the rail network of Transnet,” said Molefe.

‘In all matters, they did not qualify’

Molefe told the commission that the company also needed to have qualified people to carry out the job, but this was not the case with the Swifambo contract.

“They needed to have sufficient qualified people to carry out the programme. It was a requirement that a bond deposit of 10% the value of the contract be paid up front. They needed to demonstrate that they would be able to implement the local content required… in respect of all of these matters, Sifwambo did not qualify,” said the former chairperson.

Hidden subcontractor

In addition to finding that Swifambo was not qualified to carry out the project, the board also discovered that the contract was concluded and signed without disclosing the subcontractor.

According to Molefe, when Swifambo revealed its subcontractor, “the evidence that emerged shows that in fact the company that became the subcontractor of Swifambo… had nothing in its capacity to provide locomotives,” said Molefe.

Going to the top illegally

Molefe also told the commission that certain key employees received top positions without being qualified – some claiming they had qualifications that did not exist. Molefe made particular reference to former executive Daniel Mthimkhulu

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