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‘Trust us when we say Omicron is more MILD!’ – SAMA chair scolds UK host

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Dec 12, 2021

The chair of the SA Medical Association has given a very stern lecture to the host of a UK radio show on Sunday, after the pair disagreed on Britain’s reaction to the Omicron variant. Angelique Coetzee, a distinguished doctor with decades of experience, is adamant that this new strain is ‘much milder’ than previous ones.

Angelique Coetzee ‘asks for trust’ on her Omicron summary

Coetzee shot to international fame last month, after she urged calm across the planet when Omicron was discovered. Of course, governments worldwide didn’t heed her advice, and South Africa – where the variant was allegedly first found – was on the receiving end of several punishing travel bans.

However, the senior medical professional is hoping that more commentators from overseas start trusting her observations. More than four weeks since the first cluster of Omicron cases were detected, South African health facilities are nowhere near to being overwhelmed by new hospital admissions.

Is Omicron milder than Delta?

Dr. Coetzee does accept that hospitalisations are going up – but not at the same rate as they did when Alpha, Beta and Delta were the ‘new kids on the block’. In her stand-off with Tom Swarbrick, she made it clear that ‘a large majority’ of hospitalised patients are completed recovered within five days.

According to the SAMA chief, there’s no sign YET of Omicron devastating the functionality of our hospitals.

“We have had Omicron for four weeks, you can trust us when we say this variant largely causes mild disease. You will get genuinely sick cases, but there’s been no need to hospitalise many of our patients. Most are recovered within five days, regardless of vaccination or infection status. This is a real-life example.”

“People were afraid we’d see huge hospitalisation rates after three weeks. That hasn’t happened. Omicron is more contagious, but in general, we’ve got mild disease. Our ICUs are not full. Hospitals are seeing an increase in admissions, but not that many beds are being taken up.”

Dr. Angelique Coetzee

Angelique Coetzee questions global response

The UK, meanwhile, is plunging itself into a stricter tier of restrictions – despite the country’s high vaccination rates. It remains to be seen if Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his colleagues will also subject themselves to any new regulations, given that they didn’t bother 12 months ago.

Coetzee, meanwhile, remains a calm voice in an otherwise chaotic situation:

“Our numbers in Gauteng are coming down, the curve is now flattening… it’s not so steep. It’s mild disease, speak to our specialists in hospitals across the country, they will tell you the same thing.”

Dr. Angelique Coetzee

“There’s no reason why you can’t trust us when we say to you ‘it’s mild disease!'”

Dr Angelique Coetzee of the South African Medical Association details the Omicron situation in the country that alerted the world to the variant.@TomSwarbrick1 | #SwarbrickOnSunday pic.twitter.com/xkKp9btT8L

— LBC (@LBC) December 12, 2021

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