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South Africa abandons search and isolation of contact cases

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In South Africa, the Ministry of Health has decided to end, with immediate effect, the policy of traceability and isolation of contact cases.

The policy of tracing contact cases in the event of contamination will however be retained in certain cases, for example in assembly contexts or during the multiplication of strong clusters.

A person declared as a contact case will therefore no longer have to isolate themselves but will have to continue their daily activities while seriously monitoring any sign of contamination. Daily temperature readings and tests should be done if symptoms appear.

Isolation for infected people

The government is therefore putting an end to isolation for people with contact cases, but the rules remain the same for infected people. They will need to remain isolated for eight to ten days depending on the severity of their symptoms.

This decision was made because “isolation strategies are no longer appropriate” in the face of “a hyper-contagious variant like Omicron”. Reducing the number of people in isolation also reduces the impact on the country’s activity. South Africa was the birthplace of the Omicron variant.

In France, the Omicron variant represented shortly before Christmas 20% of Covid-19 cases identified. However, in Paris, the variant would represent more than one in three contamination.

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