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Phaahla urges citizens not to panic, as SA deals with new variant

 (FASTMAIL) -Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, has reiterated the President’s call for South Africans to keep calm amid the latest variant, Omicron.

 “There is just no basis for some of the leaders of countries which have imposed these restrictions on travelling for us in South Africa and other countries in Southern Africa,” he said on Monday.

 The Minister, together with a panel of scientists, hosted a media briefing to present the state of readiness to respond to the Variant of Concern by the government.

 “There is no basis for South Africans to panic. We have been here before. This is no new territory. We have now more than 20 months experience in terms of COVID-19 various variants and waves.”

 He also thanked the local scientists who discovered the new COVID-19 variant.



  “It’s often said you’re better off dealing with an enemy you know than an enemy you don't know. So you can imagine if we have just seen infections rising and didn't know what was the cause?”

 However, thanks to the scientists, he said the country is now aware that the resurgence was driven by the new variant.

 “Our medical scientists, our epidemiologists, clinicians are working on studying this virus, its characteristics and its impact on us as human beings, as citizens.”

 Phaahla has assured South Africans that in a matter of days and weeks, the scientists will have gone to the bottom of the matter.

 “But in the meantime, we are doing everything possible to make sure that our health facilities are ready,” he said.

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