‘No reason to panic’: South African doctor labels Omicron travel ban ‘very premature’
The South African doctor who first identified the Omicron COVID variant has called for a calmer international response.
Chair of the South African Medical Association Dr Angelique Coetzee told Ben Fordham “there’s no reason to panic” based on the evidence so far.
Most patients have mild symptoms, such as a scratchy throat, body aches and fatigue, she said, and there’s no indication of a higher transmissibility than Delta.
“Admission rates in the hospitals are also very low.
“We haven’t seen severely ill patients yet [who have] been vaccinated; again, the picture might change … within the next two weeks.”
Asked about the ‘sensibility’ of Australia’s decision to restrict travel from nine African countries, the doctor said the move is “very premature”.
Press PLAY below to hear the warning signs of Omicron