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SA’s science fraternity praised for its rapid response to COVID-19

The praise comes from Professor Wolgang Preiser, who has been involved in the management of the disease since the first cases were confirmed in the country

FILE: A City of Tshwane Health official takes a nasal swab to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus on a taxi operator at the Bloed Street Mall in Pretoria Central Business District, on 11 June 2020. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - South Africa's science fraternity has been praised for its rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The praise comes from Professor Wolgang Preiser who has been involved in the management of the disease since the first cases were confirmed in the country.

Preiser serves on the ministerial advisory committee, a team of experts that advises government on its COVID-19 response plan.

Preiser, from Stellenbosch University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, commended the rate at which the scientific process was unfolding to gain more knowledge around SARS-CoV-2.

“Sometimes I get the feeling that people take it for granted that this virus was discovered in a few weeks, but this is quite exceptional, and the speed is absolutely breathtaking.”

The medical virologist, however, warned there's no "quick-fix" with the process unfolding on a trial-and-error basis.

“There are many promising avenues that have been tried and many things have also been learned. The high-flow nasal oxygen is a great step forward.”

While these scientific interventions play out, Preiser urged the public to stick to safety measures that reduce the chance of contracting the coronavirus.

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