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[LISTEN] Professor Shabir Mahdi Explains What is Meant by ‘Close Contact’ that Would Warrant Isolation

Jun 03, 2021

Faizel Patel – 03/06/2021

(Twitter: @FaizelPatel143)

As the COVID-19 cases in South Africa continue to rise amid the third wave, Wits University director of vaccines and infectious diseases Professor Shabir Madhi says the important feature of the spread of the virus is closeness of an individual being in contact with another person.

Professor Madhi was speaking to Radio Islam on Wednesday about people taking a more nuanced approach in terms of understanding what the actual risks of the Coronavirus are.

On Sunday President Cyril Ramaphosa announced it remains mandatory for every person to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times when in public spaces and that it is a criminal offence not to do so.

Asked about what constitutes close contact that would warrant isolation, Professor Mahdi explains.

“So the definition is where you got close contact is when you are in contact with a person within a two meter distance for at 10 to 15 minutes in an absence of wearing a face mask and everything else. If you arr wearing a face mask and if you’ve been in contact with another person in the same room, the chances of you being infected is very low and even less if the other person was also wearing a face mask.”

Professor Madhi also says that despite calls for the closure of schools, keeping the schools shut has not really assisted in terms of reducing infections in children.


Listen to Professor Shabir Mahdi’s explanation. 



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