Prof Salim Abdool Karim Weekly COVID-19 UPDATES
As I end today, it is important to remember that we need to carefully select public health measures that can make an impact. The President of South Africa recently announced reductions in restrictions in South Africa, including removing the outdoor mask mandate. But I was deeply disappointed that he missed the opportunity to remove 3 key public health measures that have little to no impact – a) symptom screening (since most infections are asymptomatic), b) temperature checking (few of the thermometer guns used actually work accurately and most infected people do not have fever anyway) and c) hand sanitising (since fomites contribute a small fraction of infections at most). These are 3 intrusive measures have little benefit but were kept in place by the government – for reasons that not apparent to me. I hope this is going to be addressed in the next adjustment of Covid-19 prevention measures.