WHO has clearly pointed out the threat that the world faces now the new Covid-variant is on the rise. This virus, named the omicron, was first detected in South Africa but due to its high infection rate, it is expected that the effects would be felt globally. Scientists are still in the process of understanding the illness caused by this infection and we are hopeful that there will be more clarity in the future.
Nonetheless, one thing is for sure: The rise in the number of cases means the world will not be able to normalize any time soon. Although the majority of the people are under economical burden and looking for solutions, the tough times may not be over any time soon. In fact, the region can expect another lockdown, the extent of which is difficult to determine for the time being.
So, what can we currently do to fight off this recent enemy?
Certain governments around the globe are already preparing for travel restrictions that will take effect in coming weeks. Although some officials are of the view that travel banks are not quite beneficial in curbing the spread of the virus, they might be able to buy the government some time to come up with better strategies to detect, control, and fight the variat. In fact, all eyes are on the advanced genomic sequencing that will be able to detect new variants more quickly and with higher precision. In addition to this, governments are also urging the use of vaccination and boosters on a mass scale. Wealthy countries plan to donate the vaccines to low and middle-income countries along with help in other treatments as well to elevate the threat on a global level. The concept is that it would be impossible to fight off omicron if the poor countries don’t take any necessary steps and continue to produce generic versions.
However, currently, the world is facing certain issues when it comes to global vaccination campaigns. The biggest issue is that of accessibility which has put forward a tough challenge for health sectors all around the world. Moreover, the virus is undergoing such rapid transformation that some of the vaccines were deemed useless even before they could be properly marketed and inoculated in patients. Therefore, precautions against the spread of the virus also include designing some strategies to stop the possibility of harmful mutations. Although changes to the makeup of the virus are bound to happen, stopping the spread may also slow down the mutation rate since the virus would be exposed to lesser different internal and external environments that eventually mess with the genetic makeup.
The best we can do in such a scenario is to stick to the precautions that the previous waves of infection had taught us about. If we had adopted social distancing, use of masks, utilizing contactless payments at stores, and avoiding unnecessary gatherings then our best defense against omicron is to hold on to these practices until the threat subsides. Needless to say, this is something that everyone around the globe needs to fight collectively. As Biden has already pointed out “Travel banks give us time but America needs to understand that you have to get your vaccine, you have to get the shot, have to get the booster. Sooner or later, we are going to see cases of this new variant here in the United States. We will have to face this new threat like we have faced those that have come before it.” Perhaps we are lucky to have some experience from the previous events and we can consider ourselves a bit more prepared this time like Biden added in his address “We have the best vaccine in the world, the best medicines, the best scientists, and we are learning more and more every day. We will fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable action and speed, not chaos and confusion”
The World Health Organization may need more time to grasp full understanding of the situation at hand and calculate the exact amount of danger that omicron imposes, it should be enough to know that the virus is still highly transmissible so none of the precautions and safety measures should be ignored or under-estimated.