Inside Covid-19: CR says – download tracing app to avoid strict lockdown; Discovery results. Ep 86

In this episode, BizNews founder Alec Hogg interviews Discovery SA’s chief executive officer Hylton Kallner following the company’s financial results presentation. Veteran broadcaster Tim Modise speaks to Dr Jonathan Witt, a South African medical professional who argues that governments around the world, including South Africa, got it wrong in implementing ‘hard lockdowns’ to curb Covid-19. And, BizNews reporter Linda van Tilburg picks up with tourism experts on what the government can do to kickstart that all-important sector of the economy. – Jackie Cameron & Jarryd Neves

Inside Covid-19 headlines:

  • As the number of officially reported Covid-19 deaths in South Africa hovers around the 15,700 mark, President Cyril Ramaphosa gave the country a televised update on government handling of the pandemic. Listen to the high level overview from the president on this podcast – and then head to for the full details and highlights package.
  • Just under 30m cases of Covid-19 have now been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre. Just under 940,000 people have died. South Africa has the eighth highest number of cases in the world, with the US registering more than 6.6m cases and just under 200,000 deaths.
  • India has added over 90,000 new Covid-19 cases, reaching a total of more than 5-million confirmed infections, reports Bloomberg. Globally, India lags only behind the United States in Covid-19 cases. A Pfizer vaccine trial showed promising safety signs after more than 12,000 people received their second of two doses. US President Trump said a Covid-19 vaccine may be ready within four weeks. American investment bank JPMorgan Chase has sent some Manhattan traders home, after an employee tested positive. This highlights the challenges of New York City’s re-opening.
  • Thailand will start issuing special visas to foreign tourists starting in October, says Bloomberg. The Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-Ocha and his cabinet approved a proposal to issue visas to tourists who are planning to stay between 90 and 280 days in the country. Tourists visiting the country will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day state quarantine on arrival at partner hotels or hospitals and adhere to health and safety regulations.
  • Covid-19 is disproportionately killing minority children in the US, especially those with underlying health conditions, according to a federal report that shows how devastation from Covid-19 among black and hispanic adults has carried down to their kids. Of around the 190,000 deaths attributed to the virus in the US, 121 of those who died by the 31st of July were under the age of 21. This is according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Three out of four were of hispanic, black, American Indian or of Alaskan descent.
  • Preparations are underway to ensure that vaccines will be shipped to administration sites within 24 hours of clearance by federal regulators. A top US health official said all Americans should have access to one by April. AstraZeneca Plc’s trial remains paused in the U.S. pending a regulatory review of an incident in which a participant became ill. Listen to President Donald Trump in this podcast.
  • The global economic slump ignited by the pandemic won’t be as sharp as previously feared this year, according to the OECD, which upgraded its outlook in response to rebounds in activity since lockdowns eased.
  • Shares of US drugmaker Eli Lilly gained after an interim analysis of a mid-stage study found one of three doses of an experimental neutralizing antibody treatment tested against Covid-19 was able to lower the viral load in patients. The therapy, called LY-CoV555, was also able to cut the rate at which infected patients were hospitalised.
  • British Airways, the flagship UK carrier expecting to cut as many as 10,000 jobs, has seen 7,200 people leave as of last Friday, Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruz told lawmakers in London. The company remains in discussions with some labor groups, he said, and has rowed back on a plan to fire and rehire staff on new contracts. The pandemic has reversed decades of growth in the aviation industry, shutting down flights and triggering a slump that could see traffic diminished for years.
  • Russia agreed to sell 100 million doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to India, says Bloomberg. Russia’s sovereign wealth fund will cooperate with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, a local drugmaker, on clinical trials and distribution of the vaccine, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
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