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South Africa will no longer impose COVID-19 quarantines and stop most contact tracing — now that as much as 80 percent of the country has gained immunity from previous infections, health officials said.
Director General of Health Dr. Sandile Buthelezi announced Thursday in a release that the country will change its strategy to focus on mitigation efforts, the South African reported.
“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,” the release said, Bloomberg reported. “We never identify most high risk patients.”
But the health agency will continue contact tracing for outbreaks in congregate settings, in which they’ll ask people who have been exposed to get tested only if they begin showing symptoms.
“All contacts must continue with their normal duties with heightened monitoring (daily temperature testing, symptom screening) of any early signs,” the release said. “If they develop symptoms then they should be tested and be managed according to the severity of the symptoms.”