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South African doctor: ‘Omicron leaving as quickly as it came’

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(Israel National News) Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of South African Medical Association, believes that there is no reason to panic over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

In a Saturday night interview with Israel’s N12, Dr. Coetzee, who discovered the variant in South Africa, said that Omicron “came quickly and seems to be leaving us quickly as well.”

Dr. Coetzee also said that in her opinion, we need to accept that Omicron spreads quickly and understand that it will affect families, but emphasized that from what we see in most families, the illness is not too severe.

“The World Health Organization is warning that it is a severe illness, but we need to examine the symptoms,” she told N12. “I don’t agree with the latest announcement, that we’re talking about an acute illness, not a light one. The illness is severe in those who are hospitalized in the ICU, but less than a third of cases will be hospitalized at all.”

Regarding whether a fourth dose is necessary, she said: “I think that we need to be clear and clarify to people that we are vaccinating in order to decrease the severity of the illness and reduce the number of hospitalizations and the number of deaths. What we saw in South Africa in terms of the public health is that those who were vaccinated suffer only mild illness – unlike those who were not vaccinated.”

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