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Omicron Variant: Dr Coetzee Talks About 1st Action Taken After Detection Of Latest Variant

Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of South African Medical Association, who was the first to raise the alarm about the Omicron variant of COVID, spoke to Republic TV

(Image: Shutterstock/Republicworld) 


Dr Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, who was the first to raise the alarm about the Omicron variant of COVID, spoke to Republic TV on December 2, about how she detected the new variant and warned authorities. She also discussed the first move she made upon the discovery of the current COVID Variant. Dr Coetzee said she first became aware of the possibility of a new strain when patients at her busy private clinic complained about it. She highlighted that the new variant's symptoms are unusual but mild.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee stated, "All had the same type of symptoms, related to COVID like fatigue, body aches, scratchy throat, cough. No one really complained of a fever. This was not something of the Delta variant, which we have seen a lot of cases of. I raised an alarm to the advisory committee. Our scientists looked at this and realized it's a new variant."

She further stated that, South Africa hadn't seen any new COVID instances in 8-10 weeks and that the country was out of the third wave. It didn't make sense to her when a patient complained of a viral infection around November 18. She tested him and his entire family and found them to be positive. Dr Coetzee stated that Omicron's transmissibility was likely on par with or greater than the Delta version. "It is either more than Delta or just as much. It is definitely not less," Dr Coetzee claimed. According to her, the majority of clinical signs are mild, however, there are certain cases that require hospitalisation. A scratchy throat is common in children, but they "get better quite quickly," the doctor remarked.

India reports its first cases of Omicron

In Karnataka, India, two cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus have been verified. The first is a 66-year-old South African national, while the second is a 46-year-old Bengaluru-based Indian doctor. Both are said to have 'mild symptoms.' Commissioner Gaurav Gupta of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike said in Bengaluru that the Indian doctor had no prior travel history. The declaration came after confirmation from the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), which tracks the pandemic's genomic variants.

(Image: Shutterstock/Republicworld) 

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