Is it even possible to lock down townships and informal settlements, asks Prof
Professor Alex Broadbent published an article in The Conversation exploring why a one-size-fits-all approach to Covid-19 could have lethal consequences.
He questions why the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is the same globally while contexts, particularly in Africa, are different.
The UJ Professor of Philosophy and director of the Institute for the Future of Knowledge speaks to Africa Melane on Weekend Breakfast.
He's worried about whether it's actually even possible, in fact, to lock down overcrowded townships and informal settlements.
Lockdown works great in the suburbs... But in a crowded context it's very, very hard to see how that can even work... with ten people in a single accommodation and a toilet 100 metres away...Prof. Alex Broadbent, Director - Institute for the Future of Knowledge
But what is the alternative under the circumstances?
According to Prof. Broadbent, it's partly to come up with "slightly more reasonable restrictions".
There is in my opinion no reason to ban daily exercise, and no reason to ban the sale of cigarettes. There is no ban on drinking alcohol and yet you see soldiers smashing bottles in the streets... The ban is on the sale of alcohol.Prof. Alex Broadbent, Director - Institute for the Future of Knowledge
I understand it's complicated, but I think it would make life a bit easier if some of the restrictions actually had a direct public health benefit and some of them simply don't seem to.Prof. Alex Broadbent, Director - Institute for the Future of Knowledge
He believes there should be more focus too, on mental health.
We live in countries with a lot of gender-based violence; locking people up without their cigarettes in small rooms with each other is not a recipe to improve that situation.Prof. Alex Broadbent, Director - Institute for the Future of Knowledge
Broadbent compares the restrictions imposed in China with those in effect in Europe and applies the argument to Africa.
He says regional characteristics should be taken into account - like South Africa's geographical apartheid inheritance, for instance.
In the way that apartheid designed the country, which is abhorrent... we do have substantial gaps in many places between suburbs and townships. You can lock down a suburb... it's nice and quiet... but I don't think that's the same thing at all as locking down a large township where people are going to sit in their very hot accommodation with a large number of other people.Prof. Alex Broadbent, Director - Institute for the Future of Knowledge
It's abhorrent in itself, but in this context could be quite helpful. You can separate regions in a way that China managed to and the rest of the world - Italy in particular - has not managed to. Regional quarantine did not work in Italy while it was effective in China.Prof. Alex Broadbent, Director - Institute for the Future of Knowledge
In a similar way we have in the whole of Africa very large rural expanses which are very sparsely populated, and then overcrowding where there is population. That's a totally different context to the context of the middle of Europe where you can really see things exploding, where you have large cities constantly intermingling with each other.Prof. Alex Broadbent, Director - Institute for the Future of Knowledge
We can't contain the disease says the professor, but we can slow its spread and the trick is to slow the geographical spread.
Listen to Prof. Broadbent explain his argument in the audio below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Is it even possible to lock down townships and informal settlements, asks Prof
Callers on the Eusebius McKaiser show share views on the reopening of schools.Read More
Callers on the open line discuss the SANDF internal inquiry into the death of Alexandra resident Collins Khosa.Read More
Callers on the open line comment on the decision by the government to open congregational worship at Level 3.Read More
After counting 20 people without masks during a short drive, political analyst Melanie Verwoerd called CapeTalk in despair.Read More
Callers on the Eusebius McKaiser Show debate Bianca Schoombee's tweets, apology and her Miss SA withdrawal.Read More
Callers on the Eusebius McKaiser Show express their concerns over the announcement by the basic education minister.Read More
The need for rapid adaptation is becoming more critical as the financial services sector adjusts to a post COVID-19 climateRead More
Eusebius McKaiser says if the numbers are treated like some daily statistical daily test we will lose the human story behind them.Read More
Callers share how much they are spending on cigarettes during the lockdown.Read More
702 listeners express their dissatisfaction with President Cyril Ramaphosa's address on Wednesday night.Read More
There were 50 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total number to 755.Read More
The Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce says it wants clarity around the events leading up to the sex worker's death.Read More
The High Court has suspended the declaration for a period of 14 days and directed the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, in consultation with the relevant ministers to review, amend and republish the regulations.Read More
The packs will be distributed to children from low-income families in the Johannesburg inner-city.Read More
Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyarende died in 2016 while trapped underground.Read More
EWN reporter Nkosikhona Duma says the matter is under investigation and there is no clarity on how the equipment disappeared.Read More
MMC for Public Safety Mally Mokoena says they are working with 33% of staff for drivers license renewal and car registration.Read More
In 2016 court papers were filed seeking a final order compelling SARB to grant access to apartheid-era records of financial fraud.Read More
Elements Global Solutions employment director Sherisa Rajah shares some of what the new regulations prescribe.Read More
Domestic air travel for anything other than leisure and tourism is legal again under Level 3 rules.Read More