SA to stop quarantines as 80% have past infection

The country will conduct contact tracing only in case of a cluster outbreak, director general of Health said in a circular on Thursday.
Image: Dwayne Senior/Bloomberg

South Africa will stop contact tracing and won’t quarantine people as it shifts focus on Covid-19 mitigation strategies.

Authorities in Africa’s most-industrialised nation will conduct contact tracing only in case of a cluster outbreak, the nation’s director general of Health said in a circular dated Thursday, which was confirmed by department spokesman, Foster Mohale.

As many as 80% of the nation’s population has past infections providing some immunity, the department said.

“Quarantine has been costly to essential services and society as many people stay away from their work and thus lose their income and children miss on their schooling,” according to the circular.

“We never identify most high risk patients.”

South Africa’s recovery from its deepest economic contraction in almost three decades risks stalling due to the fallout from a fourth wave of coronavirus infections driven by the Omicron variant.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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