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In conversation with dr Dicky Budiman: COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. What should we really be worried about?

Epidemiologist dr Dicky Budiman, COVID-19 researcher. Why are case numbers and the rate of deaths only half the story of the impact of COVID-19? Source: Courtesy dr Dicky Budiman.

As the lock downs came to end and vaccination rates increased, Australians began to move more freely and feel comfortable about meeting friends and enjoying a normal life. But news of the spread of the Omicron variant raised new fears. People do not want another lock-down.

Dicky Budiman is an epidemiologist who is undertaking research to complete his PhD at Griffith University.  He answers some common concerns about COVID and the Omicron variant then explains to Sri Dean why assessing the impact of COVID in terms of death numbers might be ignoring a more dangerous impact of COVID on the health of the community.

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And you can keep abreast of the latest information about the corona virus in your language at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

As the Coronavirus continues to spread, people are being urged to act COVID-19 safe.
Can the current vaccines protect people from new COVID-19 variants? Can wearing face masks reduce the chance to be infected?
6 May 2021 (AAP: Joel Carrett)

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