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'A lockdown is not a magic bullet,' says infectious disease specialist

12 May 2020 5:16 PM
Tags:
Coronavirus
Lockdown
COVID-19
Wits Professor of vaccinology Shabir Madhi gives his take on the COVID-19 lockdown.

Infectious disease specialist and Wits Professor of vaccinology Shabir Madhi says while the lockdown has bought the government time to provide adequate care for COVID-19 patients, it is 'not the magic bullet' and does not eliminate the virus.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Tuesday that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa was 11,350.

Madhi says the virus may cause problems for the next two years.

We are not going to beat the virus, this virus is going to cause problems for us for the next two years at least.

Shabir Madhi, Infectious disease specialist and Wits Professor of vaccinology

We can reduce those numbers of people from becoming infected by the rest of the population taking precaution. It is all about slowing the rate of infection. A lockdown is not sustainable beyond the period of time that we have had, in fact we have probably had it for too long and it is causing tremendous damage to the health of South Africans on multiple fronts.

Shabir Madhi, Infectious disease specialist and Wits Professor of vaccinology

We need to be careful what we're wishing for and a lockdown is not a magic bullet that is going to allow us to contain the virus.

Shabir Madhi, Infectious disease specialist and Wits Professor of vaccinology

He says South Africa cannot allow its response to COVID-19 to cause a greater number of deaths from other diseases that are preventable.

What has happened right now, in five weeks of the lockdown, 50% fewer people came for TB testing than any other period of the year... people are not coming timeously to be investigated for TB which means when they start with the treatment it's going to be too late, which means that they are going to have a poorer outcome.

Shabir Madhi, Infectious disease specialist and Wits Professor of vaccinology

Another example during the lockdown, parents are less likely to take the baby to get immunised. Children under the age of 18 are dying of COVID-19 but those children that miss out on immunisation, they become at risk of dying from pneumonia and life-threatening conditions that can be prevented by vaccinations simply because the circumstances of the lockdown didn't permit for these children to be vaccinated.

Shabir Madhi, Infectious disease specialist and Wits Professor of vaccinology

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation....


12 May 2020 5:16 PM
Tags:
Coronavirus
Lockdown
COVID-19

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