Mumbai: A South African Doctor has raised the alarm over the new mutated strain of COVID-19, Omicron, which is believed to be more transmissible than the previous variants and revealed that the patients she treated had unfamiliar symptoms.
Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, told AFP she had seen around 30 patients over the past 10 days who tested positive for Covid-19 but had unfamiliar symptoms. However, the symptoms were mild and her patients recovered fully without hospitalisation.
The Omicron patients reported extreme tiredness, mild muscle aches, a scratchy throat and dry cough, the doctor told AFP. Only a few had a slightly high temperature.
The patients that Coetzee treated were mostly men aged under 40 and under half of them were vaccinated.
“We are not saying that there will not be severe disease coming forward. But for now, even the patients that we have seen who are not vaccinated have mild symptoms. “I’m quite sure… a lot of people in Europe already have this virus,” Coetzee said.
Pointing to laud South Africa and not vilified for the alertness of scientists, Coetzee added, “My suspicion is that because our scientists are very alert and doing a lot of sequencing in the background, maybe those European countries missed it because of the symptoms.”
Coetzee had alerted the health officials that the clinical picture was not fitting Delta, the dominant variant of South Africa. By that time, scientists have already picked up the variant and were working on it.
The variant has brought much ignominy to South Africa and countries have started isolating South Africa by imposing a blanket ban on travellers. South Africa’s top health federation has termed this as a ‘knee-jerk reaction.