Inside Covid-19: Assessing the lockdown regulation judgement; Tygerberg braces for new spike. Ep 43

In Episode 43 of Inside Covid-19, some practical do’s and don’ts for families whose children are returning to school next week; the High Court judgement forcing Government to recant on many lockdown regulations; we eavesdrop on SA Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago talking to a foreign audience; the Cape’s Tygerberg hospital is bracing for a fresh spike; and part two of our Biznews colleague Chris Bateman’s tale of living with cancer during the age of Covid-19. – Alec Hogg

In the Covid-19 headlines today:

  • Economists and researchers at the International Monetary Fund dismiss criticism of lockdowns, saying the approach has saved hundreds of thousands of lives. In a report published on the IMF’s website today, they say lockdowns have reduced global Covid-19 fatalities by up to 90%, with the impact greater in colder climates. The most successful approaches were in countries like New Zealand and Vietnam where regulations were purpose specific.
  • Although South Africa has been praised for its early lockdown decision, a raft of irrational regulations implemented in its wake has been strongly condemned in the High Court. In a judgement handed down yesterday Mr Justice Norman Davis slammed many of the regulations introduced by COGTA minister Nkosazama Dlamini-Zuma, calling them irrational, unconstitutional and paternalistic. He has ordered Government to recant on these regulations within 14 days.
  • Sweden’s top epidemiologist Andres Tegnell has admitted that the country’s no-lockdown approach to the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in too many deaths and if he could do it again, he would opt for something different. Although Sweden did ban gatherings of more than 50 people, pretty much everything else from restaurants to schools, shops to gyms continued operating as before. Speaking to Swedish Radio this week, Tegnell said with hindsight he should have opted for something between Sweden’s approach and what the rest of the world has done.
  • After a quiet week, South African reported deaths from Covid-19 rose to 50 on Tuesday, the second highest of any day, taking the total to over 750. New cases, however, posted their fourth successive daily decline at 1,455 after peaking at 1,823 last Friday. Healthcare workers are bracing for a rebound in the cases, however, after the workplace was freed up on Monday’s easing to Level Three. Globally, reported infections continue to rise with the total passing 6.5m on Wednesday, but daily deaths are still falling, running at around half the mid-April peak. Brazil has now risen well past the USA with Tuesday’s daily deaths at 1,232 against America’s 1,134. India, Peru and Mexico are also seeing significant increases in daily mortalities.