The world had taken a breath of relief after a frustrating covid-19 era by fighting its different variants and to some extent defeating them, but suddenly, news came from the African region cautioning the world about the existence of the deadly virus
Nearly two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is racing to contain a new coronavirus variant potentially more dangerous than the one that has fuelled relentless waves of infection on nearly every continent.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) panel named the variant “Omicron” and classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern, the same category that includes the predominant Delta variant, which is still a scourge driving higher cases of sickness and death in Europe and parts of the United States.
“Though Covid-19 cases have been declining in most countries of our Region, the surge in cases elsewhere in the world and confirmation of a new Variant of Concern is a reminder of the persisting risk and the need for us to continue to do our best to protect against the virus and prevent its spread. At no cost should we let our guards down,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region.
Different countries including India, Japan, Israel, Turkey, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates also toughened travel curbs. South Africa complained Saturday that it is being “punished” for detecting a new Covid-19 variant Omicron which the World Health Organization has termed a “variant of concern” and is more transmissible than the dominant Delta strain.
The decision by a number of countries around the world to ban flights from southern Africa following the discovery of the variant “is akin to punishing South Africa for its advanced genomic sequencing and the ability to detect new variants quicker,” the foreign affairs ministry said in a statement.
“Excellent science should be applauded and not punished,” it said.
Now the situation of the covid-19 is in front of us and we are all aware of the threats it poses to our lives and the well-being of our societies. The WHO has reinforced the same practices to be followed to fight this new variant. The most important thing people must do is reduce their risk of exposure to the virus – wear a mask and wear it properly covering nose and mouth; keep distance; avoid poorly ventilated or crowded spaces; keep hands clean; cover cough and sneeze, and get vaccinated, the WHO statement read.
Pakistan has been a successful country to deal with this pandemic. Thanks to the policies of the incumbent government which have to save the health as well as the economic difficulties of the nation. Now again, to fight this new variant our preparation must be more vigilant than the previous and those who haven’t been vaccinated must take it as a national responsibility and vaccinate their selves. This is the only way we can defeat this new variant as well.