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Dr Angelique Coetzee who first spotted Omicron: We’re not going to get out of this easily

The South African doctor talks to Moneycontrol about how she detected Omicron, new variants and using commonsense, and not Facebook or Twitter in times of a pandemic

January 28, 2022 / 12:13 PM IST
Dr Angelique Coetzee is the South African doctor who flagged the Omicron variant. (Illustration: Suneesh Kalarickal)

Dr Angelique Coetzee is the South African doctor who flagged the Omicron variant. (Illustration: Suneesh Kalarickal)

Dr Angelique Coetzee, the South African doctor who first alerted authorities to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, doesn’t see the pandemic ending soon, dashing hopes that the fast-spreading strain could induce herd immunity.

The 62-year-old private practitioner based in Pretoria, who is also the chair of the South African Medical Association, says new variants will most probably keep emerging in the foreseeable future and we will not come out of the pandemic easily.

In an email interview to Moneycontrol, she talks about the Omicron variant, how it differs from the Delta strain and why antibiotics don’t help. Edited excerpts:

Is there any data on the time gap for reinfection by the Omicron variant among those vaccinated? Can a person who has been infected get the Covid in a short time?