The World Health Organization’s (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan noted that Omicron BA.2 is currently dominant worldwide, including in India, implying that the pandemic is not over. Several other variants, including the XE, BA.4 and BA.5, have also been identified. In such cases, it is critical to follow all COVID rules in order to prevent the virus from spreading. The WHO expert also stated that there is no need for another lockdown-style measure in the future, but that ‘all people must wear masks’ as a precaution.
The risk of spreading it can be greatly reduced if everyone wears a well-fitting face mask.
Those suffering from respiratory illnesses should remain at home, and everyone should continue to wash their hands.
Epidemiology can be used to develop guidelines. As the infection spreads, public health precautions should be tightened.
Vaccination is the most effective preventative measure:
Immunity fades with time, and even a full vaccination with Omicron does not protect against infection. However, she reiterated that a full course of vaccination is the best defence against serious illness.
“We saw that in the cases of fast-spreading viruses like Omicron, it was difficult to stop the infection, but it was possible to prevent deaths through vaccination.””
She also stated that WHO is closely monitoring the situation to determine if the vaccine composition needs to be changed.
Lockdown-like measures are not required.
“In the early days of the pandemic, there was no other way to stop the virus from spreading,” she said of lockdown-like measures. Today, we have excellent testing facilities, vaccines, and even some useful medications. As a result, we don’t need to resort to drastic measures like lockdown.”