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How government’s lockdown went against scientific recommendations on alcohol, schools and Easter - BusinessTech
The Department of Health has published a list of lockdown recommendations that it received from the country’s top scientific and medical officials over the last six months.
The Department of Health has published a list of recommendations that it received from the country’s top scientific and medical officials over the last six months, revealing several instances where government went against expert advice on lockdown. Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize appointed a Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee (MAC) on 23 March 2020 as a means of gathering advice to inform the government’s decisions around key lockdown decisions. In his many ‘family meetings’ and national addresses on lockdown, president Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised that government’s decisions on easing or tightening restrictions in the country – especially those around smoking, drinking, and gatherings – were based on these scientific recommendations. However, the latest set of advisories show that the the government ignored or rejected a number of proposals from the MAC, raising questions around what and whose advice it followed. Some of the key deviations between the government’s advice and the actual lockdown restrictions are outlined below. Alcohol ban South Africa faced a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic at the end of December 2020, leading in to the new year. While the increase in cases was recognised by the MAC at the time, it recommended that the country be moved to a level 2 lockdown and that the existing curfew should be maintained at 23h00 to 04h00 so that business could stay open for longer. It recommended that indoor social, cultural and religious gatherings be limited to 50 persons, including reducing indoor dining or drinking in restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shebeens to a maximum of 50 persons or 50% of capacity. No mention was made by the MAC of reintroducing an alcohol ban. “At this stage, stricter lockdown measures than level 2 are not recommended,” the MAC said. “Based on trends in cases and admissions in the two weeks following the initiation of Level 2, an assessment should be made of the impact of level 2 restrictions and whether a further change in alert levels is warranted.”
- What happened: While the country faced some restrictions for most of the month, president Ramaphosa reintroduced a level 3 lockdown on 28 December which included an extended curfew between 21h00 and 06h00, and the complete ban on the sale of alcohol. All beaches, dams, rivers and public parks and public pools in hotspot areas were also closed to the public. All indoor and outdoor gatherings were also prohibited.
- What happened: Government announced that schools would be closed until 15 February 2021.
- What happened: Contrary to previous advisories, where government tightened lockdown in the face of calls for eased restrictions, the opposite happened over Easter. On 30 March 2021, president Ramaphosa announced that the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption would be prohibited over the Easter weekend as part of a level 1 lockdown. He also loosened rules around mass gatherings for faith worshippers over the period.
Is your smartphone spying on you? Check below - Jacaranda FM
If you've ever suspected that your phone is spying on you - you could be right.
According to the global virtual private network service provider, NordVPN, your smartphone could be listening to you to help marketers target you. A recent study by NordVPN shows that there was a 5% increase in the installation of monitoring apps in 2020. Apparently, virtual assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa listen to their users all the time! The apps have to constantly listen so they can hear the voice command and assist their users, but some of the details are being recorded for the company's benefit. ALSO SEE: How to check if hackers are sharing your Facebook data If you want to test your phone to see if it's spying on you, follow the instructions below.
- Talk about something you wouldn't normally talk about.
- Don't use your phone or a device you normally use to search for that particular piece of information.
- Discuss the topic next to your phone loudly so it can 'hear' you using specific keywords, do this for a few days. Do not search for the information on any device.
Nedbank stops direct financing of new oil and gas exploration projects with immediate effect - News24
Nedbank says it has decided not to directly finance new oil and gas exploration projects with immediate effect.
- Nedbank has adopted a new energy policy, directing more of its investment towards renewable energy sources
- The bank decided not to directly finance new oil and gas exploration projects with immediate effect
- Banks have faced increased scrutiny from environmental activists over the past few years regarding their decisions to continue financing fossil fuel projects