Adhere to protocols to keep Omicron at bay, say doctors

The Omicron variant of COVID -19 pandemic is already here and it is fast spreading. Hence it is time that we go back to our COVID protocols, said founder-president of Sneha Jyothi Swachandra Seva Samithi Zahir Ahmed.

Addressing a press conference with Dr. Maqsood Ahmed, vice-chairman of the trust, he said that the transmissibility rate of Omicron is much faster than the earlier variant including the deadly Delta variant and so people need to be extra cautious.

This variant has already come with over 30 mutations, including a few in the spike protein. And most importantly, the medical fraternity is still lacking clarity on this variant, he said.

According to Dr. Zahir, most of the people have thrown the COVID protocols to be wind thinking that once vaccinated, they will not be affected. This is a misnomer, he said.

Vaccination does protect or reduces the severity, but so far there is no confirmed study that vaccination gives 100% protection.

There are a number of cases, where people vaccinated with two jabs have been infected, he said.

According to him, SMS (sanitation, mask and social distancing) and vaccination are the only silver lines to keep the pandemic at bay.

Dr. Zahir said that vaccination production should be scaled up and should be made available freely. It should be made available at all health centres including private hospitals. It should be available for both payment and free. More vaccine developers should be allowed to sell their products. The availability in plenty can only solve the issue and bring down the pandemic curve, he said.

At least in the one year, people should be encouraged to take the third and fourth dose, if the government intends to stabilise the pandemic trend, said Dr. Maqsood.

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