Flash Briefing: YouTube scraps controversial videos; Purple Group excels; Tanzania’s new Covid-19 stance

  • Purple Group’s revenue increased by almost 80% to R100m in the six months end in February. The Group realised a profit of R15m. The headline earnings per share increased to 85 cents per share.
  • Bloomberg reports that delays in coronavirus vaccine shipments to Africa are expected to continue this month after India temporarily banned exports of the shots as it grapples with a second wave of infections. African countries are largely dependent on Covax, a global initiative meant to provide equitable access to vaccines. Covax is reliant on AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shot and leans on the Serum Institute of India to manufacture its allotments. The interruption in Covax shipments is particularly challenging for southern African nations as cooler weather increases the risk of surges in coronavirus cases.
  • Tanzanian leadership’s new approach to Covid-19 received support from the World Health Organization and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The East African country’s new president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, announced plans to appoint a panel of experts to advise her on how to curb the spread of the virus. The move is a complete shift from her predecessor’s stance, which was to initially deny the existence of the disease and stop the publication of Covid-19 infection data soon after the pandemic broke out.
  • The guardians of the global economy this week implored governments to act to avoid a two-speed rebound where vaccinated, rich nations recover more strongly from the pandemic than poorer countries struggling with disease and debt. The International Monetary Fund said that it sees the US and China as drivers for global growth. The world’s largest economy, fueled by trillions of dollars in stimulus spending, is expected to surpass its pre-pandemic output next year. The IMF forecast the fastest economic growth in four decades to take place this year. Still, emerging-market and developing economies may take until 2023 to recover their pre-pandemic output levels, and the world economy in 2024 will be about 3% smaller than anticipated before the outbreak, according to the fund.
  • The editorial board of our partners, the Wall Street Journal have reported that YouTube is scrapping videos that contradict the views of authorities. It’s chilling that Google’s YouTube, through its “medical misinformation policy,” appears to be systematically undermining the ability to access material in the public interest, writes The Wall Street Journal. BizNews recently had its own video taken down from the platform. It contains a critical analysis of lockdowns in the Covid-19 pandemic, by Nick Hudson of Pandemics Data and Analytics, or PANDA. Youtube says it doesn’t allow content that explicitly disputes the efficacy of local health authorities or World Health Organisation guidance on social distancing and self-isolation”.  Even the most committed lockdown and mask hawk should be outraged that YouTube is banishing videos that bear directly on democratic accountability, writes the Wall Street Journal.

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