July 4 — US President Donald Trump vowed to defeat the “radical left”, in an Independence Day speech that condemned protests against monuments to historical figures as attempts to destroy the US. Trump claimed without evidence that 99% of coronavirus cases in the US were “totally harmless”.
July 5 — S&P Global Ratings has joined fellow credit ratings agencies Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service in expressing doubt over SA’s plan for extensive spending cuts to stabilise the country’s soaring debt.
July 5 — Dozens of military medics were deployed to help combat the coronavirus pandemic in the Eastern Cape, SA’s third most affected province, where there has been a surge in infections. The deployment comes as SA’s cumulative infections reached 196,750 on Sunday night.
July 5 — AlphaTauri’s French driver Pierre Gasly, Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s German driver Sebastian Vettel knelt before the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix race in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Hamilton said the fight against racism is “about equality and not politics or promotion”. Six of the race’s 20 drivers declined to kneel, but stood for the protest.
July 6 — The coronavirus pandemic threatens to roll back hard-won gains against HIV/Aids even in relatively well-resourced countries such as SA, UNAIDS executive director Winnie Byanyima warned on Monday. About 42,500 more lives than usual would be lost to HIV/Aids in the next year if half the people in SA on treatment were unable to get their medication for six months.
July 7 — Reserve Bank deputy governor Kuben Naidoo (left) defended the state’s plans to steer away from an “unsustainable debt spiral” by reducing spending and lowering its debt and deficit levels in the coming years. In an opinion piece carried by Business Day, the former head of the Treasury’s budget office argues that unless SA sets “out a clear and realistic path for reducing the deficit”, its access to capital markets will become more limited and more costly.
July 7 — About 1,500 truck drivers abandoned their trucks across the country on Tuesday to protest against the employment of foreign drivers in the road freight and logistics industry. This could have a negative impact on the economy as local, cross-border trucking operations are allowed during the lockdown to deliver essential goods.
July 7 — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for Covid-19 in an escalation of the health crisis that has engulfed Latin America’s largest economy. “I’m perfectly well,” Bolsonaro said. He is taking hydroxichloroquine, an antimalaria medicine he has been touting as being effective against the virus, though its use has not been authorised by most health experts globally and could have dangerous side effects.
July 7 — Supporters of human rights causes marched in Nairobi, Kenya, to demand accountability from the police who they accuse of using excessive force, including arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings during security crackdowns in Nairobi’s poverty-ridden settlements during the coronavirus pandemic.
July 9 — In a victory for hundreds of small businesses facing ruin because of Covid-19, which has hit the hospitality industry particularly hard, and the resulting lockdown, SA’s financial services regulator has come out strongly against insurers refusing to pay out on claims caused by losses resulting from the pandemic.
July 9 — India’s medical research body said it is aiming to launch the country’s first vaccine against Covid-19 by mid-August. India is the world’s third worst-hit nation by the coronavirus pandemic. On July 9, the country had 767,296 confirmed Covid-19 cases, while the death toll had jumped to an official 21,129.
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