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Good immune responses to COVID-19 will benefit whole country - SAMRC's Gray

On Wednesday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country now had better capacity to increase testing for the coronavirus.

FILE: A Doctors Without Border (MSF) nurse (C) performs a COVID-19 coronavirus test during a Ministry of Health screening and testing drive in the Wolhuter men's hostel in Jeppestown district of Johannesburg, on 14 May 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) CEO, Professor Glenda Gray, on Thursday said that there was evidence that up to 40% of people in some communities did not even realise they had COVID-19.

On Wednesday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country now had better capacity to increase testing for the coronavirus.

Ramaphosa said that a nationwide survey would be conducted to help scientists better understand how many people were asymptomatic and might have been exposed to COVID-19 without even knowing about it.

Dr Gray said that good immune responses to COVID-19 would benefit the whole country.

“If people limit the amount of spread that can happen to the vulnerable population. So, it will be variable and what we have to do is to be very careful. There are some parts of the country that had a lot of exposure like healthcare workers.

“Up to 40% of healthcare workers could have been exposed and have a good immune response. But that doesn’t mean everyone in the population will have the same immune response or the same background,” she said.

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