OMICRON; THE VARIANT OF CONCERN: TAKE PRECAUTIONS BUT DO NOT PANIC
For nearly two years now, the world has been reeling under the impact of the dreaded Pandemic Covid-19, which has affected millions of lives, all across the globe. Several vaccines for Covid-19 have already been introduced in the market and quite a huge percentage of the world population has already been inoculated. Just as the world was beginning to gain back its normal rhythm, another threat has appeared in the form of Omicron, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2. On 25th November 2021, almost 21months since the first reported case of Covid-19 and after a global estimate of 260million cases and 5.2 million deaths, Omicron was reported. Omicron is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, that has been identified initially in Covid-19 patients in Botswana and South Africa. There are unanswered questions regarding the contagiousness or transmissibility of Omicron, compared to the existing variants.
MORE ABOUT OMICRON :
Omicron is a variant of SARS-CoV-2 which has been identified initially in Covid-19 patients in Botswana and South Africa. The experts in WHO (World Health Organisation) Technical Advisory Group On Virus Evolution ( TAG-VE) feel that the virus has muted too many times and may easily spread globally, thus causing a spike in Covid cases worldwide. Thus TAG-VE has labeled it as a Variant of Concern (VOC). According to WHO, 77 countries all across the globe have already reported cases of Omicron and there are patients who do not have a travel history. The preliminary information shows that the virus is affecting younger individuals but resulting in milder disease. The symptoms are quite similar to those produced by other variants. Preliminary evidence suggests that there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron. This means that people who have previously had Covid -19 could become reinfected more easily with Omicron. However, still more evidence has to be gathered to support this fact. WHO is also working with technical partners to understand the effectiveness of counter-measures ( including vaccines ), on this variant. As of now, vaccines remain quite effective against the dominant circulating variant, Delta.
PRECAUTIONS AGAINST OMICRON :
Like in the case of other variants, precaution is most necessary to fight Omicron. The most important thing you can do is reduce your exposure to the virus by following the given guidelines :
- Wear a mask that properly covers your nose and mouth
- Keep a physical distance of at least 1m from others.
- Avoid poorly ventilated and crowded spaces.
- Open windows to improve ventilation indoors.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Use sanitizers regularly.
- Get vaccinated in your turn. WHO approved that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
- Enhance your natural immunity by following a healthy diet chart and exercising regularly.