The use of the BCG vaccine for an unproven indication is irresponsible and may deplete BCG stocks for young children, for whom it has been proven to be a lifesaving preventive tool against TB, argue a group of leading experts.
Many journalists, including us, are finding the quantity of science reports on COVID-19 overwhelming. We introduce a new occasional column to help make sense of the information overload. The aim of this occasional column, which we’re calling COVID-19 Report, will be to alert reporters in South Africa (and anyone else who is interested) to the best and most important science, and also clear up misconceptions.
Two provinces have said they will force people with COVID-19 to isolate in state facilities irrespective of whether they can safely self-isolate at home. Kathryn Cleary investigates the legal and public health side of these decisions.
Scientific research on COVID-19 has been published at an unprecedented scale and speed, but some fear that this is at the cost of scientific rigour. Adele Baleta explores the pros and cons of high-speed science.
As most people in South Africa prepare for another week in their homes under South Africa’s national COVID-19 lockdown, Amy Green spoke to some of Johannesburg’s many homeless persons about why they choose life on the street over government shelters.
Access to reproductive healthcare services is almost always time sensitive and not something that can simply be placed on hold because of the COVID-19 lockdown. It remains as important as always to provide services that reinforce women’s rights to dignity, autonomy and to access healthcare services, including reproductive healthcare services, writes Thuthukile Mbatha and Tendai Mafuma.
Despite measures implemented by the Department of Justice and Correctional Services to protect inmates since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, there are concerns among some civil society organisations and legal experts about the adequacy of these measures, writes Elri Voigt.
Every year around 40 000 people are hospitalised with influenza in South Africa and around 11 000 die of the disease. Spotlight interviewed leading Professor in Vaccinology Shabir Madhi about the flu and its implications for the fight against COVID-19.
Government has rolled out an intensified screening and testing campaign in the hope of finding more COVID-19 cases during and after the lockdown period, but the disparity between the country’s testing capacity and the actual number of tests being conducted remains substantial.
Unless timely action is taken, South Africa could be faced with a new form of “pharmaceutical apartheid,” like that experienced in the early days of the AIDS response, writes Professor Yousuf Vawda & Professor Brook K. Baker.