Taking timely, appropriate measures may limit potential threat of Omicron

A medical worker administers a man with a COVID-19 vaccine in this undated photo. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Mohammad Hassan Al-Tarawneh, a specialist in respiratory, thoracic, and critical care diseases, said the danger of the new Omicron variant lies in the possibility of it reaching high-risk groups who suffer from chronic and autoimmune diseases, according to Jo24.اضافة اعلان

If people with compromised immunity get infected, large numbers will need to be admitted to hospitals, which will put pressure on the health system in the Kingdom, he said.

Tarawneh warned against gatherings and parties, which usually result in increased numbers of infections and hospitalizations, stressing that the daily cost of intensive care, between treatment, medicine, bed occupancy, respirator, and supervision, is about JD500.

Virologists believe the Omicron variant spreads faster than the Delta variant and contains a mutation that neutralizes antibodies resulting from vaccines and previous infections, said Tarawneh, adding that the world is still awaiting for reports and details from vaccine manufacturers regarding the extent of vaccine effectiveness against Omicron, which may take two weeks.

The government needs to take measures to limit the potential spread of the new mutant, said Tarawneh, including conducting more PCR tests, testing contacts, mapping out a genetic sequence to diagnose the new mutant early, stopping all forms of group activities and returning to tighten control over institutions, markets, etc.

Citizens must wear masks, maintain physical distance and not act recklessly, while people isolating at home must be monitored by authorities, said Tarawneh, adding that no country in the world will be able to prevent the entry of the new mutant into its territory, but early diagnosis, proactive measures, and a transparent account of the situation might help limit its spread.

According to Tarawneh, vaccines reduce the number of infections by a multiple of five, reduce hospital admissions by a multiple of 10, and reduce the possibility of death by a multiple of 11, which is proof of their effectiveness.

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