This week’s 10 must-read Covid-19 articles
As the world economies start to reopen, SA is battling with the legality of its own government’s lockdown restrictions
1. Amid increasing questioning of many of the government’s lockdown regulations, there are more challenges to restrictions, some going as far as to challenge them in their entirety. As former public protector Thuli Madonsela writes, “We must remember, Mr President, that public policies and conduct must not only pass the reasonableness test in a court of law, they should also pass that test in the court of public opinion.”
2. The ban on tobacco products has been one of the most controversial restrictions. The matter is now before the courts.
3. While one court has found the overall regulations invalid, the government is adamant that its regulations are lawful. Nonetheless, it has less than two weeks left to decide on the way forward.
4. Beyond contradictory and controversial restrictions, the state has also faced widespread criticism over its handling of a number of matters. As this editorial argues, “The latest mess — this time by the basic education department — was astounding in its callousness and disregard for ordinary people.”
5. Education officials, however, were not the first to attract criticism. “For a defence force inquiry to have so lamentably failed to do its job in the case of the death of Collins Khosa, and for the minister to have tacitly sanctioned it, shows just how ill-equipped they are to serve in our democracy’s government,” writes Financial Mail editor Rob Rose.
6. In between the politics and the lawfare, SA’s Covid-19 cases continue to climb, presenting numerous challenges to healthcare professionals.
7. The Western Cape, which reached more than 27,000 confirmed cases by Friday, has become SA’s epicentre. The concentration of cases in the province has also led to debates over the reasons for it.
8. The economic realities that await SA have also come to the fore. “In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a furious argument developing outside about how to revive the SA economy,” writes former Business Day editor Peter Bruce. “Assume the worst.”
9. “Though most of the country went back to work this week, it is going to take a lot more than the rapid reopening of the economy to minimise the lasting economic damage from Covid-19 and prevent job losses from becoming permanent.”
10. Despite limited air travel allowed under level 3 of the lockdown, many airlines have already sustained irreparable harm.