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Omicron: Not the end, but the beginning of the end of Covid-19 pandemic - expert

10 January 2022 8:52 AM
Tags:
COVID-19
Omicron

John Maytham speaks to vaccinologist Prof.Shabir Madhi about government's change of tack when it comes to tackling Covid.

- The South African government is setting a new trend in taking a more pragmatic approach to Covid-19

- The new approach focuses on severe Covid and whether or not health systems are imminently under threat


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

South Africa is leading a new trend when it comes to taking a more pragmatic approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic suggests an article in the Daily Maverick.

In the piece, three of the country's leading experts, including Professor of Vaccinology Shabir Madhi, explain what the new approach looks like and why it makes sense.

The move, which focuses on the threat to health facilities rather than an increase in positive cases, signals that "governments will increasingly be looking for ways to live with the virus".

Madhi joined CapeTalk's John Maytham on Monday to discuss the new approach.

Government have realised that there's no way of getting out of where we are simply by going into a higher level of restriction each time there's an increase in the number of cases.

Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Prof of Vaccinology - Wits

All that's achieved is that it's stretched out the infections over a longer period of time.

Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Prof of Vaccinology - Wits

But he says we should be clear that neither the end of the fourth wave, nor governments easing of restrictions mean that the pandemic is over.

It might be the start of the end of the pandemic, but it's not the end of the pandemic.

Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Prof of Vaccinology - Wits

Madhi says the approach government took with the discovery of Omicron and the fourth wave was one of 'wait and see' - keeping an eye on imminent threats to health systems and severe Covid.

Before they would have got to higher levels of restrictions which, importantly, wasn't required with Omicron.

Shabir Madhi, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Prof of Vaccinology - Wits

Going forward, says Madhi, government should focus on interventions "like masking in poorly ventilated indoor spaces and ensuring adequate ventilation."

RELATED: Is Omicron how the Covid-19 pandemic finally ends?




10 January 2022 8:52 AM
Tags:
COVID-19
Omicron

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