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Maltese Doctor Explains Why He’s Sceptical Over New Omicron Variant Fears

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Doctor Jean Karl Soler has said he’s sceptical about the new COVID-19 variant Omicron and that the current information available about it doesn’t justify global fears.

Soler, a longtime critic of strict restrictions, noted that new COVID-19 cases and deaths in South Africa, where the variant first emerged, are relatively low.

The normal evolutionary trend is for more infectious variants to be less lethal. I expect the same for the new variant,” he said.

“As such, unless we have clear evidence that the new South African variant is more infectious and more lethal and negates both vaccine-induced and natural immunity, we should not be concerned.”

“The arrival of a super-variant should be the remit of comic books and B-movies, and not mass media and scientific reports. Why are we being told to worry, when the information is incomplete?”

He said he’s sceptical about a new variant “which appears just before Christmas, just in time to justify new lockdown measures, and for which vaccine companies are already promising a new booster vaccine in a matter of weeks”.

“Facts over fear-mongering. Science over vaccine marketing,” he said.

Last July, Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci reported Soler to the Medical Council over a series of critical posts about the health authorities’ reaction to the vaccine. Lovin Malta has asked the Medical Council whether there have been any updates on this investigation.

Omicron, a heavily mutated variant of COVID-19, has been categorised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a “variant of concern”, with early evidence suggesting it has a higher re-infection rate.

Some scientists have warned current vaccines will probably be less effective against it and the WHO has said it would take a few weeks to understand its impact.

Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, said doctors have so far only seen “extremely mild” cases of the variant but that investigations are still at a very early stage.

Several countries, including Malta, have reacted quickly to the fears by banning flights from South Africa and other southern African countries.

Are you concerned about the new Omicron variant? 

READ NEXT: WATCH: Former Maltese Prime Minister Urges People To Take To The Streets For Tomorrow’s Protest 

Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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