Abdool Karim: SA ready to remove most Covid-19 measures, including outdoor mask-wearing

Abdool Karim: SA ready to remove most Covid-19 measures, including outdoor mask-wearing… Public health expert Prof Salim Abdool Karim says South Africa has reached a point where a new Covid-19 strategy is needed.


Abdool Karim SA ready to remove most Covid-19 measures, including outdoor mask-wearing

Epidemiologist and infectious diseases specialist Professor Salim Abdool Karim says South Africa could do away with public health measures such as sanitising and outdoor mask-wearing.

Two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, Prof Karim argues that the country is ready to change tack and lift most of its restrictions.

Speaking to eNCA on Saturday, Karim says a few measures will have to be kept in place, specifically some restrictions on mass gatherings, vaccine policies, and mask-wearing in certain indoor spaces.

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Karim, the former chairperson of the Covid-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) says there should be a new strategy to deal with the pandemic at this stage.

I don’t know what government’s plans are on removing masks but what we’ve seen from other countries is that we have reached a stage where we can change our overall strategy, we can remove most of our restrictions and public health measures at this point.

Prof Salim Abdool Karim

For example, we can get away from all of the sanitising, we can drop our outdoor mask-wearing.

Prof Salim Abdool Karim

We’re going to have to have some measures to avoid major outbreaks in mass gatherings.


We’re going to ensure that all indoor environments are largely restricted to individuals who are vaccinated.

Prof Salim Abdool Karim

There will be certain areas, particularly indoors where indoor mask-wearing will be important.

Prof Salim Abdool Karim

WATCH: Prof Karim on SA’s Covid-19 response, vaccine uptake, and the way forward


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At the same time, Health Department is looking into whether South Africans can stop wearing masks in public.

In a media briefing on Friday, Health Minister Joe Phaahla confirmed that health experts would be presenting South Africa’s options to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) soon.



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