Here’s what we know for sure. Based on various updates by the WHO, GoI and various other sources. We have compiled a list of things for you to know, take care of and understand to fight the next wave because of the new Omicron variant of Corona Virus.
Covid-19 virus since it’s ‘World-wide Grand Launch in 2019’ has only made the lives of the entire world population difficult and uncertain. It has been nothing but bad news for the last two years thanks to the several variants of the Coronal Virus, and we are fed up. We only hope you are vaccinated and if not we urge you to get vaccinated right away. Because now as per WHO the vaccines work. Here’s more below on the Omicron variant of Corona Virus. Keep reading.
On November 26, 2021, WHO’s TAG-VE (Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution) announced that the Omicron variant of Corona Virus is a concern and a threat citing the evidence that it has several mutations affecting how fast it transmits and how severe it is.
Here is what is already known about the Omicron Variant
Researchers across the world are working on finding out more about the Omicron variant and understand it better. Meanwhile below is what is known. So ignore all those phony WhatsApp messages and rumors that is giving you sleepless nights. Here is an update thread we are keeping updated with all important updates about Omicron and Covid-19.
Transmissibility: In South Africa, where the Omicron variant of Corona virus was apparently detected first, the African Health Research Institute is saying that the slope of the spread is much steeper than the other three waves South Africa experienced. However, as for the rest of the world, it is fairly inconclusive and there is no information on the rate of spread. This includes countries like US, India, various parts of Europe where cases for the Omicron variant have already been detected.
As per WHO, in comparison to the Corona Virus’s previous variants, including the very recent Delta version, it’s still unclear whether Omicron is more transmissible that the delta variant. Even though the number of positive cases of the Omicron variant have risen in various areas of South Africa. But studies are going on to understand whether the reason for the escalated numbers is Omicron or any other factors.
In case there are any updates from government or WHO or the medical authorities, we will be posting those to the Omicron Corona Virus Updates as and when they happen.
Severity of disease:
In terms of the severity of the Omicron variant, it is fair to say that little is known yet. However, we know with certainty that the first two cases found in India were both vaccinated and there also have been cases who were previously infected along with cases where the patients had not contracted Covid. So, all in all it’s hard to say whether Omicron is more severe than the Delta or other variants.
Aris Katzourakis who is a researcher of viral evolution at the University of Oxford, UK says “If you throw it into the mix in a highly vaccinated population that has given up on other control measures, it might have the edge there.”, which means, as the case with all the previous variants of Corona Virus, one must take all the precautions as suggested by the WHO and most of us are in a habit of taking by now.
Precautions to be taken
The first step as a precaution is to understand that you are as much responsible to contain the spread of the Corona virus as the next person you see hopping about without a mask or any other precautions. Now first of all, we can not stress this enough Get Vaccinated!
Even though vaccination is not a sure shot cure, it is still the most accessible and effective support to your immune system to fight the infection if you get infected. It’s a possible safety. It’s definitely not a guarantee but we will take the chance of possible safety over no guarantee any day and so should you. After that the following precautions as we have been taking till now should be taken more and more seriously once again.
- Maintain a safe distance from others (at least 1 metre), even if they don’t appear to be sick.
- Wear a mask in public, especially indoors or when physical distancing is not possible.
- Choose open, well-ventilated spaces over closed ones.
- Open a window if indoors.
- Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Follow local guidance about vaccination.
- Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
Will there be another lockdown because of the Omicron variant?
As of now, government is not announcing anything that might suggest a lockdown. NITI Ayog’s member-health, Dr VK Paul said that this variant is being carefully examined and the decision for a booster dose or lockdown can not be taken at this stage.
However, Britain, parts of Europe and South Africa where this variant as spread much faster than any other previous variants, have not ruled out strict restrictions on the movement of the citizens and have issued guidelines for self-quarantine for those who have been infected with this variant.
As to what you can expect for the Indian populace, we doubt there will be another full-scale lockdown anytime soon. Celebrate New Year with a lot of fun but with a lot of precautions and we should be fine. Depending on how fatal Omicron proves to be in India, Govt. Of India can issue a brief lockdown but none of it will be as strict as we have seen in the past two years.
That being said. We urge you once again to take a lot of precautions. Make sure you and your family are safe. That is the only way to deal with this virus. And before all that GET VACCINATED!