Omicron and masks - 12th Dec 2021
Update 12th December 2021. Comments by Dr Richard Friedland were reported on many internet Covid news sources. Friedland is CEO of Netcare Private Hospitals in South Africa, which operates in the epicentre of the outbreak in Guateng province. Friedland said that 800 patients had been admitted since Nov 15th 2021 and had been found to be Covid positive. Of those 800, 75% of them were unvaccinated. The 4 people whose death was ascribed to Covid all had significant co-morbidity and were aged between 58 & 91yrs old. In the UK, Dr John Campbell regularly reports on Covid spoke about the disease currently being very mild and this was purely a matter of good fortune.
Update as at 5th December. Further news today came from the South African Medical Research Council. They are saying that the Omicron variant is very widespread in South Africa. Also, people came in to hospital for many reasons (other than covid) and incidentally these people were found to have covid (omicron variant). The situation is more easily explained by Dr John Campbell who regularly reports on YouTube about medical matters particularly Covid. Campbell says that of 42 patients hospitalized, 70% of them are not oxygen dependent and most do not present with breathing difficulties.
On Saturday 27th November 2021, PM Boris Johnson announced that masks will be mandatory in shops with effect from Tuesday 30 Nov 2021. This is because of the discovery by South African scientists of a new variant Covid which is a cause of concern. There is a division of experience about the new variant. One Doctor spoke to The Telegraph and to the Andrew Marr show . That Dr is Angelique Coetzee who is a GP of 33yrs standing . She said that the new variant has mild symptoms and with no great increase in hospital admissions, and no reason for panic. . The chances of severe disease are greatly reduced by getting vaccinated , and observing advice such as masks and social distancing she said.
There is another report from Rudo Mathivha, head of the intensive care unit at Soweto's Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg. The report in republicworld.com talks about people in Soweto who are mostly unvaccinated. Mathivha is quoted as saying: "Young people, in their 20s to just over their late 30s, are coming in with moderate to severe disease, needing intensive care (ICU). About 65% are not vaccinated and most of the rest are only half-vaccinated [with one shot],” .
People who follow Dr John Campbell on his YouTube Channel will know that he has already commented on what is known about the new variant. He notes the differing experiences of South Afican Doctors talking about vaccinated people as compared to the unvaccinated in Soweto. He also comments favourably on vitamins D and K2 especially in winter when there is less sunlight.
On Friday 3rd December 2021, a report on Al Jazeera was describing how Omicron variant had spread to 38 countries with various restrictions being imposed. However, no deaths reported . Similar reports from public health official Ntsakisa Maluleke of guateng province South Africa. She also reports that Omicron is mild.