President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, revealed this to one of the local papers after leading experts questioned why Covid-19 modelling data is being kept under wraps.
The move to keep the data out of the public eye comes after an earlier model on which the strict lockdown was based was heavily criticised.
It projected thousands more infections and deaths than SA has experienced to date. As at Friday, 9,420 people in SA have been infected with Covid-19, and 186 have died.
“We don’t want to put these models out to the public as if they are the gospel truth,” Diko said.
“There is an element where we want to avoid panic in communities, and we’re also mindful of the stigma of the virus.”
She conceded that “we need to allow people to feel more in control. That is perhaps something that is not being done as well as we could because when people are armed with information, they feel like they are taking charge of their lives rather than just receiving info from the government.”
Diko said Ramaphosa visited the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research “to view the CSIR system, which can drill down to street level and allow for projections.
The CSIR raised that these are fluid, and we don’t want a situation where we put out information when it changes by the minute.”
She added they were working on ways to better communicate with the public.
Experts said the move to limit the flow of scientific data on the pandemic means the government will make its decision on whether to reopen the economy further based on data that South Africans are not privy to.
The data will include epidemiological models drawn up by leading scientists, actuaries and mathematicians tracking how effective the lockdown has been.
Constitutional and medical experts are calling for greater transparency, especially because the rate of easing the lockdown is crucial to the future of an economy that has been brought to its knees.
But those working with the data confirmed to the local paper that this week they had been told to keep it confidential.
With infection rates soaring this week and poor people starving because they cannot work, the president and the national command council face decisions that will affect many lives.
These are challenges leaders across the world are grappling with, as many countries begin to ease lockdowns in a bid to revive dying economies.
In Other News – Here is the Reason why Bobo Andile Mchunu was assaulted to death – #RIPBobo
Bobo Mchunu was brutally murdered after being accused of stealing beer at his uncle’s tavern. The 16-year-old Andile Mchunu went missing for a week and a video of him being beaten surfaced on social media leading to the trend #JusticeForBobo being started. Justice For Bobo has now reached the attention of authorities who are looking into the matter.
In the video, a man is seen walking in the corridor stained with blood. He heads to another room where there is a boy lying on the floor. The man asks Bobo to wake up and clean the room. The visibly weak Bobo fails to wake up the man steps on him forcing him down. continue reading
Source – Timeslive