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'Omicron seems less severe. No need for lockdowns if healthcare system copes'

8 December 2021 1:45 PM
Tags:
Mandy Wiener
The Midday Report
COVID-19
Ministerial Advisory Committee
KOleka Mlisana
fourth wave
Omicron

Mandy Wiener interviews Professor Koleka Mlisana, Chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee.
  • South Africa’s fourth wave of Covid-19 is being driven by Omicron with many reinfections and vaccine breakthroughs – symptoms, however, seem less severe

  • Interprovincial travel bans make no sense – Omicron is now everywhere in South Africa

  • Restrictions would only be implemented should the healthcare system get overburdened


Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. (Pixabay)

RELATED: 2 weeks of Omicron: 'It looks like people don’t get as sick as with Delta'


President Cyril Ramaphosa and the National Coronavirus Command Council met on Wednesday to discuss, among other issues, a report from a task team set up to explore vaccine mandates.

Ramaphosa earlier suggested the possibility of restricting access to workplaces and public transport to those who are fully vaccinated.

No “family meeting” is planned, so far.

Mandy Wiener interviewed Professor Koleka Mlisana, Chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (scroll up to listen).

This wave is driven by Omicron… We are seeing reinfections… and vaccinated people are also getting infected… Omicron is more transmissible than Delta… and there’s an element of escape of immunity…

Professor Koleka Mlisana, Chairperson - Ministerial Advisory Committee

We see an increase in the younger age group… the clinical presentation is less severe… It talks to the impact of vaccination… It prevents severe disease, hospitalisation and death… Most important now is that people are vaccinated…

Professor Koleka Mlisana, Chairperson - Ministerial Advisory Committee

It wouldn’t make sense to restrict travel within the country, because the variant is everywhere… Any other restrictions would only be implemented when we see the healthcare system getting overburdened… There might be no need for it, but it’s too early to tell

Professor Koleka Mlisana, Chairperson - Ministerial Advisory Committee



8 December 2021 1:45 PM
Tags:
Mandy Wiener
The Midday Report
COVID-19
Ministerial Advisory Committee
KOleka Mlisana
fourth wave
Omicron

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