Prof Salim Abdool Karim Weekly COVID-19 UPDATES

3 March 2022

Reassuringly, the global situation continues on the expected downward trajectory (Slide 6). In South Africa, cases and deaths have dropped to similar low levels that we had after each of the previous waves (slides 3 & 4). Most striking is how low the death toll has been in the omicron wave (slide 13) - even experiencing a week where reported Covid-19 deaths exceeded excess deaths.

The mildness of the omicron wave, its low death toll and the fact that it is rapidly disappearing, has created the widespread impression that the Covid-19 is over. Several countries are removing all restrictions. This is reinforcing the perspective that Covid-19 is ending. In a recent interview I was asked some probing questions on this topic by Meredith Wadman when she interviewed me for the attached article for the journal Science – I have attached the article as it deals with the question of when will the Pandemic be declared over. As you guessed – the answer is “I don’t know - no-one does”. But there are some interesting issues to consider that provide some clues to that answer.

Today, I am not writing a detailed analysis in text – instead, I am attaching a podcast that I did with Mia Malan of Bhekisisa, where I deal with several key issues. The podcast is on slide 14 – when going through the slides in full slide mode, just click on the picture on page 14. Alternately, you can click on

Salim S. Abdool Karim, FRS
Director: CAPRISA
CAPRISA Professor of Global Health: Columbia University

[PODCAST] When will COVID end? Prof Abdool Karim explains - Bhekisisa