In Episode 60 of Inside Covid-19, we hear why the temporary ban on alcohol sales makes sense in the context of growing pressure on hospital beds; Dr Sheri Fanaroff’s guidelines on what you need to do after testing positive; the South African brothers pioneering online high schooling who got a coronavirus boost; and why it’s really important for us in the Southern Hemisphere to get a flu shot this year to protect against simultaneous infections of Covid-19 and seasonal influenza. – Alec Hogg
In today’s Covid-19 headlines:
- South Africa’s coronavirus infections continue to grow strongly with a further 11,500 new infections confirmed on Monday, taking the active cases – ie net of recoveries – to almost 150,000. This is the fifth highest of any country, ranking South Africa only behind the USA’s 1.8m active cases, Brazil and 600,000, India at 300,000 and Russia at 220,000. Mortalities continue to increase by around 100 a day, the 10th highest in the world. Despite this high burden, the country’s healthcare system has coped relatively well, especially in the Western Cape where the worst of the pandemic now appears to be behind us.
- The economic fallout continues to work through the system with the US’s largest banks – JP Morgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo – collectively putting $28bn into their reserves to cover the bad debts they expect to come from consumers and businesses unable to pay their loans. This is a further increase on the quadrupling of bad debt provisions made in the round of first quarter financial results. Citigroup’s chief executive Michael Corbat told our partners at the Wall Street Journal: “The pandemic has a grip on the economy and it doesn’t seem likely to loosen until vaccines are widely available.”