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Thursday, 13 January 2022 00:00

World Beware of Omicron

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The total number of people infected by Covid-19 kept increasing, as if it was unstoppable. Many countries kept reporting new omicron cases. 

In Europe, for instance, WHO stated there were more than 7 million new cases of Omicron across the continent in the first week of January. The number rose twofold within two weeks. 

WHO Director for Europe, Dr. Hans Kluge said on Tuesday (1/1) there were 26 countries reporting more than 1 percent of the population infected every week. He quoted the estimation from Institute of Health Metrics at University of Washington which projected half of the West European population would be infected in the next six or eight weeks. 

Kluge was worried that when Omicron moves to the East, crossing Europe, that variant will take more victims much more in countries with low vaccination rate. In Denmark, he recorded, Covid-19 inpatient rate was six higher on those who were not vaccinated than the vaccinated ones. Similar high cases also happened in the US, Poland, and Japan. 

The Omicron also infected Indonesians. Data from the Health Ministry until Monday (10/1) showed 506 Omicron cases in Indonesia. The ministry's Director for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Siti Nadia Tarmizi said that Omicron infection was still dominated by international travelers and 84 of them were local infections. Therefore, she affirmed that the people must be ready in facing the Omicron, considering how easily it spreads.

Although Omicron has lighter symptoms, the people must stay on alert. More infection can burden health facility capacity and operational capacity of other sectors. Health protocols are a must, including wearing maskers, keeping distance, and washing hands. Preventing is better than curing.

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