Health minister Zweli Mkhize might think he’s being transparent, but he isn’t. Most days at around 8pm we get a number — on Sunday it was 6,783 infections – and another number, in this case 131 deaths. The problem is, there’s never enough consistent detail to make sense of what this really means.

Occasionally there are some titbits, describing the age of the people who died and what other diseases they had that had made them susceptible to Covid-19. Sometimes there are details about the location of the clusters of cases and the trends in infections. But many days it’s just the cold numbers. In the absence of consistent detail and context, Mkhize might as well be tabulating his six favourite films — mildly interesting, but ultimately of little use...

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