Flash Briefing: Ivermectin gets thumbs up for big UK Covid study; Guptas paid Zuma arms deal legal fees; inflation rises

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  • A large UK study at the University of Oxford is to investigate the use of Ivermectin, as a possible treatment for Covid-19, reports Bloomberg. Ivermectin a drug used to treat parasite infections in humans and livestock, is already in widespread use in South Africa. It’s already been approved for use on compassionate grounds in a controlled-access program in South Africa, and health authorities have reported widespread use of the drug on the black market. The medicine has antiviral properties and initial preliminary studies have shown it can reduce viral load, the amount of virus in the respiratory tract, and the length of symptoms in those with a mild infection, according to a statement from the university. The World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency recommend that it only be used in clinical trials, as more data is needed to support its use.
  • At least two South African labor unions have vowed to support workers who are threatened with dismissal if they refuse to be vaccinated. That, says Bloomberg, follows a directive by the Department of Employment and Labour earlier this month that made provision for employers to implement a mandatory vaccination policy. Union Solidarity said it will take employers to court who dismiss workers because of their choice not to be vaccinated, while the South African Parastatal and Tertiary Institutions Union said employers can’t issue a “one-size-fits-all” policy about shots.
  • Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke has painted a bleak picture of the state of the country’s municipal finances, telling Parliament how municipalities had racked up R26bn in irregular expenditure, reports EWN.
  • In a bombshell day of testimony at the Zondo Commission, it was revealed that money from the Gupta enterprise paid Jacob Zuma’s Arms Deal legal fees – even while the state was ostensibly footing the legal bill, reports Daily Maverick.
  • South Africa’s headline consumer price inflation rose to 5.2% year on year in May from 4.4% in April, according to data from Statistics South Africa.
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