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No lockdown, quarantine in South Africa, ready to live with Covid

South Africa has no plan to impose a lockdown or quarantine rules, and it is ready to live with the Covid-19 pandemic. An Agency report said the government has decided to take a more pragmatic approach while keeping an eye on severe COVID and whether or not health systems are imminently under threat. Medical experts in South Africa said on 9th January that restrictions on the economy, livelihoods and other aspects of society have indirect but harmful effects. They said the government should not blindly follow those Covid-19 restrictions being imposed across the world that are not possible locally and yield only nominal benefits. The government has to opt for steps such as ensuring a higher vaccine uptake, including booster doses for high-risk groups, a more pragmatic approach to isolation is warranted keeping in mind the low Covid-19 testing figures in the country,they said.

Till now, South Africa has recorded over 3.5 million cases due to coronavirus disease including 93,278 deaths, 3,360,879 discharges and 102,476 active cases. The country is currently reeling under the fourth wave of the pandemic fueled by the Omicron variant which was detected in November last year. A serosurvey carried out before the emergence of the Omicron variant in South Africa showed that immunity against severe Covid largely evolved through natural infection over the course of the first three waves and prior to the advent of vaccination. Medical experts also said that the T cell immunity is “relatively unaffected” by Omicron and reduces the risk of severe disease. The government should instead focus on interventions such as masking in poorly ventilated indoor spaces and ensuring adequate ventilation


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