The chair of the South African Medical Association, who helped alert the world to Covid’s Omicron variant, is still trying to persuade the British government not to panic about it. Dr. Angelique Coetzeewrites this week in the Daily Mail:
As a general practitioner for more than 33 years, I am one of the foot soldiers who sees patients first. We clinicians deal day-to-day with real people, not statistical projections, and I can reassure you that the symptoms presenting in those with Omicron are very, very mild compared with those we see with the far more dangerous Delta variant…
In the part of South Africa where I work, there haven’t been many patients admitted to hospital with Omicron, and most have been treated at home, using anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, and low doses of cortisone.
Bear in mind, too, that most of those who contract Omicron here are unvaccinated (only 26 per cent of South Africans are fully vaccinated). While this is certainly not an argument against vaccination — I cannot stress the importance of that enough — it’s reassuring to know that even unprotected bodies fight off this variant much more easily than Delta. Current data indicates that the majority of cases admitted to ICUs are unvaccinated people.
Meanwhile in Washington, government medical authorities are sounding especially fearful again. The Washington Post’s Lena Sun, Joel Achenbach, Laurie McGinley and Tyler Pager report today: