Covid-19 update: Cyril 'fails' to back up tobacco ban, WHO talks masks

Covid-19 update: Cyril 'fails' to back up tobacco ban, WHO talks masks

The Democratic Alliance is adamant that President Cyril Ramaphosa has no proof to justify the tobacco ban. Briefly.co.za explores the latest updates as the nation continues to endure the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The DA insists that President Cyril Ramaphosa's evidence that the tobacco ban is justified has gone up in smoke, while the WHO has released the latest info on face masks.

Briefly.co.za takes a look at some of the top updates as SA battles against Covid-19:

1. Up in smoke: DA claims Ramaphosa has nothing to justify tobacco ban

The Democratic Alliance is adamant that President Cyril Ramaphosa's evidence to support the tobacco ban has gone up in smoke.

In a statement released by Dean Macpherson DA Shadow Minister of Trade, the party commented that:

"In an incredible turn of events, President Cyril Ramaphosa has admitted that he has no empirical evidence to support the continued ban of cigarettes and other tobacco products under the current level 3 lockdown regulations."

With the president responding that the council had relied on submissions and existing anti-smoking research, the DA is less than amused:

"President Ramaphosa’s failure to produce any evidence is a clear indication that there wasn’t any empirical evidence to support the ban in the first place. The continued punting of submissions received is also ludicrous given the fact that government only received 454 public submissions in favour of the tobacco ban."

2. South Africa's first patients ready to start Covid-19 drug trials

Global trials of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine are set to resume under the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The study of the drug had been halted after research papers by respected science journalists were retracted.

The papers were withdrawn by the New England Journal and Lancet after the authors could not verify some of the data used in the analysis of the drug.

Briefly.co.za learned that South Africa is set to enrol its first patients into the International Solidarity Trial.

The International Solidarity Trial was halted last month by the WHO.

"There are over 130 trials going on worldwide with hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. Many of those studies were temporarily stopped and the WHO suspended the hydroxychloroquine arm of the solidarity study," said Solidarity Trial Co-principal investigator, Professor Helen Rees.

3. Explainer: WHO releases latest Covid-19 face mask guidelines

The World Health Organisation has released the newest information regarding the use of face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The organisation revealed that wearing a mask alone is not enough to effectively safeguard against the virus.

With global infections now sitting at over 6.8 million and fatalities rising to 398 000 while over 3.3 million people have managed to recover.

Speaking during a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explained that masks should be used along with other preventative measures.

"People can potentially infect themselves if they use contaminated hands to adjust a mask or to repeatedly take it off and put it on without cleaning hands in between. Masks can also create a false sense of security. Masks are only of benefit as part of a comprehensive approach in the fight against COVID-19.”

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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