Covid-19: 'Start thinking of a plan B' - expert on whether it is safe to see family over Christmas

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Passengers on a plane at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. (Guillem SARTORIO / AFP)
Passengers on a plane at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. (Guillem SARTORIO / AFP)

While it remains unclear whether the new Omicron coronavirus variant will lead to more severe disease, South African virologists and epidemiologists have started encouraging families to think of additional measures to keep their vulnerable loved ones safe during the festive season, which includes avoiding big events and ensuring people are vaccinated. 

This after the Omicron variant - first identified in South Africa on 24 November - led to a surging number of coronavirus infections and increasing hospitalisations in the country over the past week.

It may possibly see the country reintroducing lockdown measures as healthcare facilities start to fill up. 

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