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John Nkengasong, director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Africa’s top public health official said on Thursday he was encouraged by the way South Africa had handled its latest wave of COVID-19 driven by the Omicron variant, adding that severe lockdowns were no longer the best way to contain the virus.

“We are very encouraged by what we saw in South Africa during this period of looking at the data in terms of severity,” said John Nkengasong, director of the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), at a conference. press.

“The period in which we use severe locks as a tool is over. In fact, we should look at how we use public health and social measures in a more careful and balanced way as vaccination increases.

South Africa experienced a sharp increase in Covid-19 infectionIt’s since late November, when it alerted the world to Omicron, with new infections peaking in mid-December at an all-time high.

But new cases have since receded, and the government did not resort to strict restrictions as during previous waves of infections.

“The number of infections increased very steeply, but it also decreased very, very steeply … I think it’s a lesson that we should all learn from what South Africans have done to manage this,” added Nkengasong.

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