The virus that has changed the entire dimensions of our personal and social life doesn’t seem to be ending especially with this new ‘Omicron’ variant. Coronavirus has itself, been a puzzle of uncertainty and unanswered questions for a fairly long time yet with every new wave, the public and researchers are back at square one. The fear of the previous variant hasn’t yet been settled before a new variant is identified. Although, most people have accepted that this may just be the new normal world, even more dangerous variants of Coronavirus keep getting identified every few months, thus leading us to the 4th wave worldwide.
Another variant named Omicron (B.1.1.529) was reported by scientists in South Africa on November 24, 2021, and was assigned as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization two days after the fact. Omicron is said to be a very dangerous variant for it is by a long shot the most intensely transformed variation at this point of SARS-CoV-2, the infection that causes COVID-19. Even though scientists have been able to identify the potential threat of this new variant, there is no information beyond it. Days after the news broke, we remain in an information vacuum, and in a prognostication whirlwind with even the vaccine makers contradicting each other.
Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar warned in a press conference on Monday that the latest concerning variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, will inevitably come to Pakistan and the country has only a few weeks to contain the threat.
“Omicron, is wreaking havoc across the world [and it] will also eventually affect Pakistan as well, but the country has a few weeks to counter the threat,” he said. “The variant has spread across the world and it will be impossible to stop it from entering Pakistan because the world is so inter-connected.”
The government has started to take immediate vital steps to curb the threat of the Omicron variant. Testing in high-risk areas has been notified to speed up while flights have also been banned from countries that are most prone to this variant.
“As it’s impossible to stop the virus from entering Pakistan, it is imperative to get fully vaccinated at the earliest,” Asad Umar said, adding that an increase in the vaccination rate would mitigate the effects of the Omicron variant.
So far, neither the virologists nor the general public, knows if this variant is more transmissible than other variants. Whether it will result in severe disease or have mild symptoms, will it dominate the delta variant or the rate at which it may be contagious? But patience and prudence are key. With multiple unanswered questions, the need for social distancing, vaccination, and masks need to be stressed upon. These measures are just some necessary stems that will undoubtedly work to make people somewhat safe, no matter how the virus evolves.
Vaccinate yourself and your loved ones if you haven’t already because this may be the only way around the pandemic.
But on a lighter note, here are a few memes that we found to take off the tension of this new Omicron:
Maharashtra's Public Health Department confirmed that there are 6 passengers who arrived from South Africa or other high-risk countries and tested positive for COVID – one each in Mumbai#Omicronindia #OmicronVarient pic.twitter.com/IyCKQ9ok6a
— vishnu (@ironpatriot049) November 30, 2021
— Tweetera🐦 (@DoctorrSays) December 1, 2021
— QirratSiddique (@QSiddiqui26) December 2, 2021
In the midst of the new wave, if you are unsure of what to do in wake of an expected lockdown, read our article: 7 ways to treat yourself when you’re feeling down
PS: Please get vaccinated as soon as possible if you haven’t already. It is clear that vaccines are working and people who have gotten the jab are much less likely to be hospitalized than non-vaccinated folks. We’re all in this together and we hope that we will power through. #GetVaccinated