Omicron: Keep it brief

Face Mask

 A protective surgical face mask.

Photo credit: Courtesy | AFP

The dreaded came true: Omicron, the Covid-19 variant first detected two months ago in South Africa, has swept the globe with the wealthy nations having over a million new cases daily.

Responsible for 73 per cent of new Covid-19 cases in the US and 92 per cent globally, the potent and nasty coronavirus could dominate the world. The unvaccinated are more prone to contracting this latest version of the Sars-Cov2 virus that tends to cause more vaccine-resistant illnesses.

Omicron is not as lethal as Delta but is four times quicker in spreading. It is expected to peak in two weeks. So, with few major illnesses, the incidence of new illnesses rises rapidly. It is more harmful.

The most significant consequence of Omicron is the rapid infection of huge populations. Victims are quarantined for 1-2 weeks. That causes a massive section of the working class to get unwell, putting straining basic services like food and medical care.

And the task is more difficult in rural areas. This phase will not be lengthy but it might be difficult for the people. Its fury may be prevented.

First, we must ensnare the hoarding. Every district should establish its contingency plan to avoid hoarding and also store the essential materials. We should boosted state resources and manpower for the weakest district. We also need to improve healthcare in small communities.

It is less fatal, but Omicron puts a lot of strain on hospitals, particularly when the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions catch it.

The trick to beating Omicron is to keep it brief. Prepare to postpone all tests. Rallies for the upcoming election must be put off. The Spanish Flu, which in 1918 killed 100 million people worldwide, had three major waves. The third resembled Omicron. We must fight with the goal of eradicating Covid-19.

Last year, Delta hit without notice, causing a setback in the second wave. But this third or fourth wave has given us enough notice to prepare for it. Self-discipline and prudence the major weapons.

Mr Surjit is a veteran journalist and freelance writer based in Brampton, Canada. [email protected].