• Adami Geldenhuys

Covid-19 Regulatory Update 13 - 19 October 2021

Updated: Dec 14, 2021


Highlights in this edition include information on:

  • several pandemic-related lawsuits worldwide;

  • the extension of the national disaster;

  • the amendment of the directions relating to sport;

  • a comparative study of Covid-19 related measures taken in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia;

  • the rejection of the Sputnik V vaccine for South Africa by SAHPRA;

  • the announcement by AfriForum and Solidarity that they would fight the SCA ruling about the Department of Tourism’s relief fund in the Constitutional Court;

  • and the ongoing debate about mandatory vaccinations.

CORPORATE LAW

CORRUPTION

CURFEW

EMPLOYMENT

EVICTIONS

EXTENSION OF NATIONAL STATE OF DISASTER

HUMAN RIGHTS

INSURANCE

IVERMECTIN

MASK MANDATES

MEDICAL LAW: ORGAN TRANSPLANTS

PENSION LAW

POLLUTION

SCHOOLS

SPORT

TOURISM

VACCINES


CORPORATE LAW


Amaanat Investment Holdings Ltd (CT00797ADJ/2021) (5 October 2021)(Companies Tribunal Decision)

Application for extension of period within which to convene annual general meeting (AGM) – High number of members and COVID-19 restrictions making both physical and electronic meeting impossible – Good cause shown – Granted.


CORRUPTION


Institute for Security Studies. South Africa’s mixed messages on procurement corruption.

2021 Oct 12 Polity.org.za

“South Africa desperately needs laws to stop procurement corruption. Recent revelations by Daily Maverick/Scorpio of the R150-million Digital Vibes scandal involving contracts related to the government’s fight against Covid-19 underscore this.”


Pillay, Kavisha. Data analysis of the National Treasury records reveals extent of price gouging on PPE.

2021 Oct 13 Daily Maverick


CURFEW


GroundView: There is no scientific basis for the 12am to 4am curfew.

2021 Oct 12 Groundup


EMPLOYMENT


Lucas, Freya. Compensation claims on the way for those who can prove they caught COVID-19 at work. (Australia)

2021 Oct 11 The Sector

“A State Insurance Regulatory Authority spokeswoman in New South Wales has spoken out about a predicted spike in workers’ compensation claims for those who can prove they have contracted COVID-19 through their workplace.

Her comments come in the wake of speculation that compensation claims will surge at the end of the NSW lockdown, with the industry regulator predicting a bill of up to $638 million within 12 months, based on the 80 per cent vaccination coverage of the adult population.”


EVICTIONS


Evans, Jenni. 'Not feasible' for evicted backyarders to take landlords to court, High Court hears.

2021 Oct 14 IOL

“The City of Cape Town's suggestion that "backyarders" evicted illegally during the pandemic should take their former landlords to court instead of occupying vacant land was rejected during a Western Cape High Court application over the City's removal of illegally erected shacks. "It is entirely unfeasible to bring a court action for eviction from a backyard," said advocate Ismail Jamie on behalf of the human settlements minister on Wednesday.”


EXTENSION OF NATIONAL STATE OF DISASTER


Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002

Extension of a National State of Disaster (Covid-19) to 15 November 2021.

RGN1031 GG 45313 p3 13Oct2021


HUMAN RIGHTS


Muntingh, L [et al.] Research Report: Criminal justice, human rights and COVID-19 - a comparative study of measures taken in five African countries - Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia.

2021 Oct 11 Dullah Omar Institute

“This report provides an overview of the COVID-19 measures taken in five African countries, namely, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia. The overarching aim is to assess the level or intensity of restrictions and the rights implications of these.”


INSURANCE


Swiss Re International Se v LCA Marrickville Pty Limited (Second COVID-19 insurance test cases) [2021] FCA 1206 (Australia)

Insurance – business interruption insurance – COVID-19 – test cases – pandemic cover – hybrid clause – prevention of access clause – disease clause – catastrophe clause – competent government or statutory authority – outbreak – occurrence – discovery of an organism – at the premises – within a specified radius of the premises – by order of authority – competent authority – as a result of order of an authority – order – insured peril – causation – proximate cause – uninsured peril – same underlying cause or fortuity – interruption or interference – loss – adjustments – trends in the business – third party payment – indemnity for loss – reduction of loss – interest – utmost good faith.


Dinnie, Donald. Covid-19 business interruption Australian judgment mostly favours insurers.

2021 Oct 13 Financial Institutions Legal Snapshot

“In this, second, Australian test case for business interruption claims relating to Covid-19 the court said that “[A] policy of insurance is assumed to be an agreement which the parties intend to produce a … businesslike interpretation … …a construction that avoids capricious, unreasonable, inconvenient or unjust consequences, is to be preferred where the words of the agreement permit” and that “ …. no court is authorised to attribute a different meaning to the words of a policy simply because the court regards the meaning as otherwise working a hardship on one of the parties.”


IVERMECTIN


Ellis, Estelle. Still no SAHPRA report on adjustments made to ivermectin use after leave to appeal.

2021 Oct 16 Daily Maverick

“The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) has not yet reported to the Pretoria High Court on adjustments on the use of ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19 after it was given leave to appeal an order that it must do so.”


Schraer, Rachel & Goodman, Jack. Ivermectin: How false science created a Covid 'miracle' drug.

2021 Oct 6 BBC


MASK MANDATES


Levin, Jonathan. Schools begin to lift mask mandates as U.S. Covid spread slows.

2021 Oct 18 Bloomberg


MEDICAL LAW: ORGAN TRANSPLANTS


Aleccia, JoNel. Organ centers to transplant patients: get a Covid vaccine or move down on waitlist. (USA)

2021 Oct 8 NBCNews

“A Colorado kidney transplant candidate who was bumped to inactive status for failing to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has become the most public example of an argument roiling the country's more than 250 organ transplant centers. Across the country, growing numbers of transplant programs have chosen to either bar patients who refuse to take the widely available Covid vaccines from receiving transplants or to give them lower priority on crowded organ waitlists. Other programs, however, say they plan no such restrictions — for now.”


PENSION LAW


Moodley, Neesa. The Covid-19 effect on your pension or provident fund means less cash in the pot.

2021 Oct 12 Daily Maverick

“Reduced contributions, increased withdrawals and an inclination to postpone retirement savings. These are the top three outcomes of the past two years spent under the shadow of Covid-19, a downward-spiralling economy and lockdowns, which forced many businesses to shut up shop.”


POLLUTION


Naidoo, Shanice. Covid masks adds to pollution inland and on beaches – Greenpeace.

2021 Oct 16 IOL


SCHOOLS


Evans, Jenni. Cape Town principal guilty of misconduct for refusing to open school during Covid-19 peak.

2021 Oct 13 News24

“Wesley Neumann had allowed pupils to stay at home because parents were worried about the surging cases at the time. However, this was in defiance of an instruction by the Western Cape education department to tell staff and pupils to return to school. The department confirmed Neumann was found guilty of six charges of misconduct, which included being disrespectful to the previous head of department, Brian Schreuder. "The sanction has yet to be determined as the process is yet to be finalised," said its spokesperson, Bronagh Hammond.”


Mothers sue after children catch Covid at Wisconsin schools with no mandates. (USA)

2021 Oct 12 The Guardian

“Two Wisconsin mothers whose children had Covid-19 in September have sued their school districts, for “needlessly and recklessly endangering the health and safety” of their children and other students….Both lawsuits accuse the school districts of creating a “snake pit” for students by not implementing Covid-19 safety measures recommended by health officials, such as indoor masking, at their schools this year.”


SPORT


Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002

Measures to prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19: Sport, Arts and Culture. Amendment of Directions.

Amendment of RGN461 of 09 April 2020 as amended by GN669 of 11 June 2020; RGN751 of 06 July 2020; GN852 of 06 August 2020; GN943 of 28 August 2020; GG 43776 of 07 October 2020; RGN477 of 31May2021; RGN530 of 15Jun2021; RGN565 of 27Jun2021; RGN567 of 29Jun2021; RGN651 of 25Jul2021; RGN869 of 12Sept2021, RGN960 of 30Sept2021; and RGN1024 of 11Oct2021.

GN1037 GG 45329 p13 15Oct2021


TOURISM


Afriforum and Solidarity in Constitutional Court about Illegal Racial Tourism Fund. 13 October 2021.

“AfriForum and Solidarity announced today that it ready to defend the ruling that the Department of Tourism’s relief fund is illegal in the Constitutional Court. This came after the department announced that they would fight the ruling delivered by the Bloemfontein Court of Appeal in the Constitutional Court.”


VACCINES


Anti-Vaxxers


Bluth, Rachel. New California law bans harassment at vaccination sites, but free speech concerns persist.

2021 Oct 8 KHN


Children


Bhengu, Cebelihle. Children over 12 years can get the Covid-19 vaccine without a parent’s consent — here’s why.

2021 Oct 18 TimesLive


Ellis, Estelle. Vaccinations to open for 12- to 17-year-olds next week.

2021 Oct Daily Maverick

“Health Minister Joe Phaahla has announced that children between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to access the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine from next week. But for now they will only get a single dose….He said that given the risk, even though minimal, of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) that were seen in a small number of children who received a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the department will wait for more research to be done before giving a second shot to this age group.”


Covid-19 Pill


Kahn, Tamar. MSD to seek regulatory approval for its Covid-19 pill in SA.

2021 Oct 12 Business Day


Mandatory Vaccinations


Burnett, Cobi. Texas governor orders statewide ban on all COVID-19 vaccine mandates. (USA)

2021 Oct 12 The Jurist

“Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday issued a new executive order prohibiting any entity, including privately-owned businesses, from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on workers in the state. Abbott also called on other state lawmakers to sign a similar ban into law.”


Office of the Deputy Judge President, High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Local Division. Vaccinations against Covid-19. 13 October 2021 (Circular to Judges of the Gauteng Local Division).


Noyes, Jenny. Challenge to COVID-19 vaccine mandate fails in NSW Supreme Court.

2021 Oct 15 Sydney Morning Herald

“A legal challenge to NSW public health orders that restrict the activities of residents who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 – including their ability to work in certain industries – has failed in the state’s Supreme Court.”


Regulatory Approval


Second J&J Covid-19 shot gets expert backing; FDA is looking at lowering age for Pfizer booster.

2021 Oct 18 Daily Maverick

“Outside advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday unanimously recommended the agency authorize a second shot of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine for all recipients of the one-dose inoculation.

The agency is also considering lowering the recommended age for booster shots of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to people as young as 40, FDA official Dr. Peter Marks told the advisory panel.”


Sputnik V Vaccine


South African Health Products Regulatory Authority. Update on the SAHPRA review of the Sputnik V Vaccine. 18 October 2021.

“Following the consultation with local and international scientific experts and after considering all the available data, including review of the dossier submitted by Lamar International (Pty) Ltd, SAHPRA resolved that:

1. The Section 21 application for Sputnik V by Lamar international Pty (Ltd) not be approved at this time. SAHPRA is concerned that use of the Sputnik V vaccine in South African, a setting of a high HIV prevalence and incidence, may increase the risk of vaccinated males acquiring HIV.

2. The rolling review of the Sputnik V vaccine will, however, remain open for submission of relevant safety data in support of the application.”


Vaccine Certificates


Vermeulen, Jan. Warning over vaccine certificate personal information.

2021 Oct 12 MyBroadband


Voting Stations


Vaccines at voting stations? That’s what Covid-19 advisory body wants.

2021 Oct 13 Citizen


Date posted: 19 October 2021

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