Since the world is grappling with the new covid-19 variant Omicron many regions across the globe have come to a standstill. The new variant has a high transmission rate which makes it all the more dangerous and threatening.
Though Jammu and Kashmir remained untouched for some time but the Omicron variant has made its presence felt here as well with more than ten cases being reported officially.
The Omicron variant has claimed its victims from one corner (Shopian) to another corner (Uri) of the valley, which makes us all the more worrisome as to whether what needs to be done to tackle this new threat.
The entry of Omicron variant here means that it is quickly overtaking the Delta variant of COVID-19 and becoming dominant around the world.
Given its high rate of transmission it could take some time for Omicron to overtake Delta in some countries, because it depends on the level of circulation of the Delta variant in those countries. This warning has also come from Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and COVID-19 Technical Lead at the World Health Organisation.
Omicron has been detected in all countries and it’s likely to be in all countries around the world. It is quickly, in terms of its circulation, overtaking Delta. And so Omicron is becoming the dominant variant that is being detected.
Even though there is some information that Omicron causes less severe disease than Delta, it’s not a mild disease because people are still being hospitalized for Omicron.
The highest numbers of new cases were reported from the US (4,610,359 new cases; a 73 per cent increase), France (1,597,203 new cases; a 46 per cent increase), the UK (1,217,258 new cases; a 10 per cent increase), Italy (1,014,358 new cases; a 57 per cent increase) and India (638,872 new cases; a 524 per cent increase).
What is worrisome is that 15 million cases were reported in the last seven days and this is record high in this pandemic and is an underestimate given the challenges in surveillance around the world.
This variant has been shown to have a shorter doubling time as compared to previous variants, with transmission occurring even amongst those vaccinated or with a history of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection; there is increasing evidence that this variant is able to evade immunity.
Omicron enters and circulates among vulnerable populations and as such we will be witnessing increase in hospitalisations and deaths.
Besides, some other issues can also creep up as the authorities will have to resort to more strict measures to ensure its control and for doing that even lockdowns can again become a reality.
We have seen over the years that lockdowns have been demolishing the economies across the globe and as such they are being avoided for the time being. However, it is the people who can prevent such harsh measures by adopting and following CAB’s religiously and avoid getting infected.