Less than a month after the new coronavirus, Omicron, was first identified, it is spreading rapidly in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Denmark.
The UK wants to bring all people who are eligible to be vaccinated to avoid another wave of epidemics. The campaign has been intensified to give the third dose of Covid-19 vaccine to all adults by the end of December.
Based on preliminary data, researchers in South Africa say the symptoms of Omicron are mild. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Several countries, including Denmark, are considering imposing new restrictions to control the spread of the infection.
In the meantime, a CNN report seeks to understand what other countries can learn from the experiences, initiatives and research of the countries under Omicron.
It’s too late
Although many countries are rushing to impose travel rules to prevent Omicron, this new strain of coronavirus is spreading rapidly around the world.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanam Gabrieusus told a news briefing on Tuesday that Omicron infection had been detected in six countries around the world.
“The reality is that Omicron is probably everywhere, maybe not yet recognized everywhere. Omicron is spreading at a speed we have never seen before in any variant.
“Our fear is that people will take Omicron lightly. We now know for sure that we ignored the virus in the midst of the devastation. “
In response to reports that mumps symptoms were mild, the WHO Director-General said: “The rising tide of infection could once again engulf the unprepared health system.”
Many countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have imposed travel restrictions on travelers to Africa after South African scientists reported the discovery of the new strain of coronavirus.
Omicron infection is now on the rise in the UK. Even then, the British government removed 11 African countries from the “red list” of travel bans. As a result, quarantine restrictions on entry into the UK from those countries will be less.
The new strain has already been identified in Puerto Rico and 36 US states, CNN reports.
Michael Head, a senior research fellow at the University of Southampton in England, said: “I think Omicron will spread everywhere very quickly.
“In countries that have not yet been identified due to a lack of testing systems and the ability to analyze genetic makeup, there will actually be many people infected with Omicron.”
Omicron will not take long
The first Omicron infection was detected in the United Kingdom on 26 November. According to the UK’s Health Security Agency, Omicron overtook Delta in London last Tuesday in terms of power. In other words, there are more people in Omicron than there are people in Delta.
UK Health Minister Sajid Javed said on Tuesday that the number of people infected with Omicron was doubling every two days in the country.
“As we have seen in South Africa, the number of patients with omicron is increasing in the UK as well.”
A total of 6,036 new cases were reported in the UK last Thursday. According to official data, this is the highest daily detection rate since the onset of the epidemic. South Africa also recorded an outbreak on Wednesday.
Kevin Fenton, London’s regional director for public health, wrote on Twitter: “Take your first, second or booster dose faster than ever before. Please don’t leave it to fate. “
According to Denmark’s Statence Serum Institute (SSI), the dominant type could become ‘Omicron’ this week. In one day on Thursday, about 10,000 people were infected in that country.
“There is no doubt that new measures need to be taken to break this chain of transmission,” said Danish Prime Minister Matt Frederickson, who described the detection rate as “very, very high”.
Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, said in Brussels that “Omicron” could become a form of domination in 28 European countries by mid-January.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in a report released last Wednesday that there was a “high risk” of further spread of the virus in the region.
The ECDC also fears that the number of deaths and hospitalizations predicted due to the delta type of coronavirus could exceed that number due to Omicron.
Anthony Fouchi, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States, told CNN on Wednesday that he thought Omicron’s dominance there too had become “inevitable.”
However, it is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
Scientists and researchers are examining South African data to understand how Omicron could spread to other parts of the world.
South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says data collection is still ongoing, but samples suggest the wave may be milder this time around.
A study released by Discovery Health on Tuesday found that a large company working with the health insurance of 3.7 million people in South Africa had less vaccine protection against the new variant. However, it has been found that the symptoms of those affected by Omicron are milder than the previous type.
Researchers say that the US company Pfizer-Bioentech two-dose vaccine provides 33 percent protection overall. However, it has been found to be 80 percent effective in preventing serious complications including hospitalization.
The study found that adults infected with Omicron had a 29 percent lower risk of hospitalization than the original coronavirus.
But Chris Whitty, the UK’s chief medical officer, warns that the number of daily diagnoses in the UK is on the rise and will rise to record highs in the next few weeks.
“Scientists in South Africa and scientists around the world, including in the United Kingdom, are trying to determine the exact proportions,” he said on Wednesday, fearing it could become a major crisis.
Not just vaccines
Medical experts advise adhering to social distances and providing adequate lighting and ventilation in confined spaces to reduce the spread of Omicron in different countries.
“The vaccine is not a substitute for a mask, it is not a substitute for maintaining distance, it is not a substitute for adequate light and air or hygiene,” said Gabrieus, head of the World Health Organization. Take it all together. It must be obeyed regularly and well. “
According to the office of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, two doses of the vaccine can significantly reduce the risk of infection with omikron symptoms. However, the third or booster dose will provide protection up to 80 percent.
In addition to speeding up the campaign for ticker booster doses, the UK Parliament has approved the introduction of ‘Covid Pass’.
This pass must be shown when entering nightclubs and large venues. There must be evidence of two doses of the vaccine or a recent negative test.
The country’s lawmakers have also approved measures to make masks compulsory in most confined spaces.
Although Omicron is spreading fast, there is very little talk of a new lockdown this time.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson said during a visit to a vaccination center in Ramsgate in the south of England that the government was advising people to be cautious rather than give a lockdown and also to think about planning a Christmas holiday.
“The situation is much different now than it was last year, because we now have increased vaccine protection and increased testing capacity,” he said.
“I think there is a very strong argument for taking more action scientifically, but it is less politically valid.”
Johnson, however, described the lockdown as a “last resort”. “At some point a lockdown may be needed and all countries need to be realistic about it,” he said.
Although not going into lockdown, different countries of the world are going through various restrictions to prevent the spread of Omicron and Delta type. Norway has banned the serving of alcohol in restaurants and bars this week. At the same time, the speed of immunization among the people has been increased by imposing more restrictions on schools.
However, in countries where the rate of vaccination is high, people have agreed that coronavirus must survive with a partner.
Restrictions have been relaxed this week in New South Wales, Australia, amid a rise in Omicron infections. In the state, 93.3 per cent of 18-year-olds and older have been given two full doses of the vaccine.