Just when the world had thought that it was rid of covid-19 and its restrictions upon them, omicron, another one of covid-19’s variants, began emerging in Botswana, South Africa in late November with the first death reported to WHO on Dec 13, 2021. The Omicron comprises many mutations thus making even the vaccinated somewhat vulnerable. Immediately thereafter it became a matter of concern worldwide and efforts were pursued to curtail its spread and its deadly consequences elsewhere. In just a matter of time, this life-threatening variant spread like wildfire, claiming more and more lives throughout South African provinces. This proved to be an eye-opener for administrations worldwide who began taking immediate precautionary measures.
Many countries were not ready for yet another wave of covid-19 that had caused them economic and financial issues; so they began suspending/restricting air travel to and from South Africa and its nearby affected areas with many countries imposing bans on air travel to and from 7 African countries like US, Germany, Australia, Turkey, Canada, Kuwait, Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, India, Pakistan, Saudia Arabia, and France, etc. This followed an immense backlash from African countries’ leaders who criticized this decision believing it would discriminate against countries in the region and also complicate the economic situation in their countries. South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa said in a speech on Sunday, “The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to and also to recover from the pandemic.” Even though efforts took place to curb its spread yet some countries/administrations weren’t lucky enough to eliminate this threat and so, like wildfire, it spread to other countries. In a matter of time, it spread into Europe; with The UK reporting the highest number of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant cases, over 851 thousand cases followed by the USA (705 thousand cases) and Denmark (141 thousand cases).
For people who have the befit of being fully vaccinated/boosted people, the omicron symptoms are mild; However, for the unvaccinated, symptoms can be very alarming that can result in possible hospitalization and even death. The Omicron symptoms are somewhat similar to the rest of the Covid variants ranging from
- Fever and fatigue,
- Chest pain
- Sleep issues,
- Loss of taste
- Runny nose,
- Sore threat (for five days)
However, despite such symptoms, the chances of contracting pneumonia, which may otherwise require serious medical attention, are relatively less.
Here are some ways you can keep your family, yourselves, and others around you safe:-
- Use of masks (covering your nose and mouth properly)
- Frequent use of hand sanitizers OR wash hands regularly.
- Social distancing oneself from others (ATLEAST 1 METER DISTANCE)
- Keeping rooms well-ventilated for an adequate supply of fresh air
- AVOID crowded spaces (gyms, shopping malls, etc.) and social gatherings.
- Stay home if feeling unwell and immediately isolate from others.
- Boost immune system through regular consumption of healthy-diet food items
- Staying hydrated to ensure the proper functioning of organs and other bodily functions.
- And most importantly, GET VACCINATED. Approved COVID vaccines can lessen the severity of this illness and help keep you, and others around you safe.
Register yourself for the COVID-19 vaccination – through the link provided. (children aged five and above) to ensure a safe environment around you by heading to the nearest vaccine center to get yourself vaccinated.