WHO Warns on Omicron variant

Covid19: WHO Warns on Omicron variant
Covid19: WHO Warns on Omicron variant

Panic is spreading fast just as how the Omicron variant is. With the alarming situation that arising, The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned saying the Omicron COVID variant “poses a very high risk” of infecting surges worldwide.

When the whole world was settling down with Covid’s situation once again it started to attack human life. By the end of 2021, another wave of the corona epidemic has crashed us. South African scientists discovered this new COVID-19 variant, Omicron. They are assuming this surge will eventually create more chaos and danger than before.

Since its origin, everyone is now becoming more and more careful. Most of the countries have started taking precautions with Britain and southern African nations had already canceled the overseas flights.

Now is high time we should know about the variant. Let’s get started-

Omicron variant- What is it

Omicron is another variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 first detected and originated in Botswana, and then identified in a number of new infections in neighboring South Africa. Since after origin it has now been found in several European countries, like the United Kingdom and Germany, and Australia, and also in North America in Canada.

Though we don’t know yet about the threat and jeopardy of Omicron with comparing the other variants. We don’t know yet whether in terms of transmission and severity do we need to change any vaccine approach. Scientists are working hard to know more about the variant and are assuming there are facts to take into concern as omicron contains a worrying number of mutations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) called it a “variant of concern” on the 26th.

American President Joe Biden called Omicron “a cause for concern, not panic.” 

White House chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci warned that Omicron’s signs of potentially heightened transmissibility could factor into a potential fifth COVID wave in the U.S.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee, Chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, talked in front of the media that the Omicron symptoms she has witnessed till now are “mild,” especially in comparison with the Delta variant. She assured me that scientists are still studying the new variant’s effects. 

Omicron variant and Vaccination

According to the president of the US Joe Biden current vaccines, in addition to the recommended booster for adults, should provide at least some protection against the new variant. But if the large number of mutations work will the vaccines may become weak against Omicron.

About this new omicron situation Moderna announced that, if needed, a reformulated COVID vaccine could be made available by early 2022.

Pfizer’s CEO told that its new COVID pill is expected to protect against Omicron; and BioNTech, in coordination with Pfizer, is researching possible next steps in production over the next two weeks.

Omicron situation in different countries

Right after the new Omicron was found and announced, several countries put travel restrictions in place some even banned flights. Almost 44 nations set a restriction on arrivals, with Japan and Israel closing their borders to all foreigners.

About the African nations, they have responded critically to the travel bans.

Mawali president Lazarus Chakwera called the move “Afrophobia,” and South Africa’s foreign ministry said that the country is being “punished” for announcing the variant.

Travel restrictions against Omicron
Travel restrictions against Omicron

WHO asked the countries to reduce the burden of travel bans, specifically on the African nation. The decision South Africa and Botswana took in clarity with alerting the general public to Omicron, WHO has appreciated it.

‘It’s naïve for developed countries to believe they can stop the spread of this variant with a blanket ban on countries in southern Africa,’ South African vaccinologist Shabir Madhi said to the press.

‘The virus has already found its way into these societies from individuals that haven’t even traveled to or come into contact with anyone from southern Africa’, he added.

Omicron and our contribution

Countries and scientists are taking responsibility obviously and are also actively working for the betterment and situation against Omicron. But as individuals, we all must have to be cautious. We should be aware of what we can do against it to fight for. We must be cautious when we are in public, for instance, wearing masks, washing hands regularly, maintaining social distance, making a habit of using hand sanitizer but most importantly everyone must get their vaccinations and booster shots. All in all, encourage people and make everyone aware of the urgency of the situation and be safe. These guidelines were mentioned by the Centers for Disease Control.