Professor Karim is a clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist widely recognized for scientific and leadership contributions in AIDS and Covid-19. He is currently serving as a Member of the Africa Task Force for Coronavirus, the African Union Commission on Covid-19, the Lancet Commission on COVID-19 and the ISC’s COVID-19 Outcome Scenarios Project.
In this podcast, produced by The Lancet Voice, Dr Karim discusses the World Health Organization’s latest variant of concern, the Omicron variant. This new variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning, according to the WHO Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution.
Professor Karim describes how the Advisory Group learned of the new variant, and what it means for both science and the community. He also provides a more personal view of the impacts the new variant has on countries like South Africa – for example the travel ban to some countries, which ultimately, harms science.
“What really hurt, is when the world is faced with a threat, a global threat like Omicron ,the way you defeat a threat like this, is to stand together, is to work together, to join hands and to deal with threat head on. We should be building bridges, not barriers,” Professor Karim said in the podcast.
Listen to the Podcast
Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant: a new chapter in the COVID-19 pandemic, by Slim S Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim, published 3 December, 2021 in The Lancet.
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