- Surprisingly, the government has submitted court documents which seem to contract their position the smokers have a higher risk on contracting Covid-19
- A study submitted by the government found that smokers were significantly less affected by Covid-19
- Additionally, another piece of evidence suggests that the illegal purchasing of cigarettes increases the chance of infection
The government is doubling down on its defence of the cigarette ban and has submitted a huge array of court documents, however, some of their own findings contradict what they are saying.
The key point which has stood out is that the government has admitted that "smoking populations were less likely to be infected" with the virus.
In another apparent contradiction, the government has said that purchasing cigarettes during lockdown poses a higher chance of contracting the virus compared to normal shopping.
Briefly.co.za learned that the ban on cigarettes has been suggested as the cause for the higher risk as people buy from non-traditional sources.
Despite this, the government is adamant that smoking cigarettes increases the chances of someone contracting Covid-19 according to News24.
British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) is taking the government to court and insists that the ban on cigarettes is unconstitutional.
The contradiction submitted by the government is contained in a scientific study on Covid-19 which was carried on using data from 140 patients in China.
The issue is that in China over a quarter of the population smoke (27.7%) but only 3.4% of smokers developed sever Covid-19 symptoms, suggesting that smokers were less a risk.
"128.1 This is a peer-reviewed journal.
"128.2 This paper presented clinical characteristics of 140 patients with Covid-19.
"128.3 The results showed more smokers among the severe than among the non-severe cases. Among severe patients (n=58), 3.4% were current smokers and 6.9% were former smokers. This is in contrast to non-severe patients (n=82) among which 0% were current smokers and 3.7% were former smokers."
The second contradiction, the purchasing of cigarettes:
"176.1 The percentage of participants who came into close contact with someone outside their home, by shaking hands, hugging or kissing, was significantly higher for those who were able to buy cigarettes during lockdown (26.2%) than those who were not (9.8%)."
This evidence suggests that 26.2% on contact is from illegal cigarette purchases which has ballooned under lockdown.
While smokers in the country are anxiously awaiting the government to lift the ban on the sale of tobacco products, the three officials were seen enjoying a smoke during Andrew Mlangeni's funeral.
In other news, Briefly.co.za reported that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has conducted a series of lockdown operations in the Vhembe District.
Colonel Mukwevho, led SAPS and other law enforcement members in a lockdown sweep in which Covid-19 restrictions were enforced in and around the Musina precinct.
6 people were arrested for being in possession of illegal cigarettes to the value of R480 000.
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