There is no need to impose tougher restrictions over the Omicron variant as the cases are “predominantly mild”, the head of South Africa Medical Association Dr. Angelique Coetzee has said.
Four weeks ago, the South African GP raised concerns about the Covid-19 variant. Answering questions of the UK Parliament’s Science and Technologies committee on Tuesday, Dr Coetzee said that “we don’t have all the answers” and that “We need to monitor the progress of this virus”.
However, the current picture shows that Omicron is a “Mild disease”, less dangerous than Delta variant, thought it might be more transmissible, she added. Although the data is limited, Dr Coetzee stated that Omicron patients are more mild, get better faster, and that there are no long-term COVID cases.
Accordingly, she pointed out that it is sensible for governments to consider taking measures within their own borders before imposition of travel bans or other severe restrictions.
Saying that South Africa is “Restriction levels remain the same”, she underlined that “We do not see any reason to have stricter restrictions.”
“It is all around us. Perhaps we should learn to live with it.,” she said.
Earlier, in an article for Daily Mail, Dr. Coetzee was even more straightforward in her criticism of what she called “knee-jerk reactions” to the news of discovery of the new COVID variant. In the wake of this announcement, the UK became the first country to ban travel from South Africa.
“These knee-jerk reactions are disappointing. These reactions are not comparable to the ones we see in South Africa’s surgeries, where Omicron is rarely discussed. A Twitter user stated, “Covid is now a UK neurosis.”’” she wrote.