1. Saving breath

A clinical trial in Britain has found that budesonide, a steroid widely used for asthma, can speed up recovery from Covid and may lower hospital admission rates, reports The Economist. The trial looked at 1,800 people aged 65 or over (and people over 50 with underlying health problems) who were being treated at home. Of the 751 prescribed an inhaler with budesonide, 32% recovered within 14 days, compared with 22% for the rest. On average the drug reduced recovery time by three days. It is also cheap. Those recovering at home can breathe a little easier.

2. Potholes no problem

After months of reporting ditches along their busiest roads to the Joburg Roads Agency without success, Weltevreden Park residents decided to tackle the problem themselves. The Panorama Residents Association teamed up with a local security company and have filled more than 80 potholes using 875kg of asphalt and tar, bought by members of the association. Potholes have become a hazard in many Joburg suburbs. Whether it’s worth trying to claim for damage they cause to your car from the Road Accident Fund is a moot point.

3. Drones divert danger

Eskom and the Endangered Wildlife Trust have come up with a unique drone-operated system to fit bird flight diverters, or flappers, to power line cables to prevent birds from flying into them. Collision with overhead power lines is a major cause of death for several large bird species. Line markers can reduce this by up to 92% for some species. A prototype was demonstrated to the SA Civil Aviation Authority in December and tested in the Zeerust area last month along a line several vultures had collided with previously, as part of Eskom Distribution’s bird mitigation strategy.


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