Maverick Citizen

CORONAVIRUS DAILY DIGEST #140

Regulation of medical devices, emergency medicine and Covid-19 relief queried

Regulation of medical devices, emergency medicine and Covid-19 relief queried
Compilation image by Sahra Heuwel.

On Thursday, questions were raised over the regulation of medical devices and emergency medicines during the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the content of the Auditor-General’s report lays bare the irregularities at the Unemployment Insurance Fund.

Scroll through the gallery below to view the latest Covid-19 numbers available on 3 September at the district level. All maps are sourced from provincial health departments. Gauteng, Limpopo and North West did not provide an update by the time of publishing:

Four top officials have been suspended from the Unemployment Insurance Fund after Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu found major irregularities in the R41.6-billion spent through 9.5 million payments. His report found a lack of financial controls had led to the failures in Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) payments. Hundreds of thousands of rands were paid to applicants under the legal working age of 15, to people who Home Affairs says are deceased and to people in prison. As Greg Nicolson writes:

“His [Kimi Makwetu’s] findings point to a staggering lack of verification and controls.”

UIF bosses suspended as auditor-general details Covid-19 relief chaos

Medical devices, from ventilators and Covid-19 tests, are a scarce resource now in high demand. However, South Africa does not register medical devices. Catherine Tomlinson sets out what it means for a regulator to announce that a new device has been authorised.

The tangled web of medical device regulation in SA

Meanwhile, remdesivir does not have the nod from the National Health Department as a treatment for Covid-19 – it maintains it is too costly with too few benefits. Nevertheless, thousands of doses have been bought and imported by pharmaceutical companies and ordered by hospitals. As Joan van Dyk writes, this raises questions about the price regulation and administration of the medicine.

Understanding the complexities around the Covid-19 medicine remdesivir

While the Covid-19 pandemic is not nearly over, some scientists are already flagging the need to prevent another one. Globally, preparedness for pandemics is weak.

Gaps in biosafety and biosecurity could lead to the next global pandemic, scientist warns

Sandisiwe Shoba unpacks what Africa in particular can do to stave off another pandemic. DM/MC

Gallery

"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

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