India has reported 2.86 lakh new COVID cases, with 10,050 of these being those of Omicron. The new, severely mutated form has reportedly replaced the widely circulated Delta variant as the most prominent strain in numerous Indian states.
The Omicron version is 4 times more transmissible than the Delta variant, despite the fact that it is known to induce moderate infections. Health officials and doctors are extremely concerned as the virus spreads like wildfire not just across the country but also around the world, advising people to take all precautions.
Some specialists, on the other hand, believe that widespread Omicron infection could actually push COVID-19 out of the pandemic stage. Let’s have a look at what that entails.
Is It True That A Mild Omicron Infection Confers Immunity?
Experts believe that the Omicron variation could lead to widespread immunity because it causes moderate sickness with little to no need for hospitalisation or special treatment.
If you’ve been exposed to the SARs-COV-2 virus before, you’ll very probably have established natural immunity against the virus.
Many people have come forward to suggest that the novel COVID variant, Omicron, could operate as a “natural vaccine.” Professor Ian Jones, a virologist at the University of Reading, has backed the theory, claiming that Omicron, like the flu, poses little risk to healthy, fit people.
He also claims that the Omicron could improve immunity without causing major sickness, taking the hazards into account.
Many people, however, have opposed the proposal, calling it a “dangerous idea.”
Could The COVID-19 Pandemic Be Contained By The Omicron Variant?
COVID’s Omicron version is “almost unstoppable” according to researchers, and will eventually afflict a wide population, even with booster doses in place.
Given that the new variation mostly affects the upper respiratory tract and does not cause significant lung damage, many people assume the disease is benign and does not require intense treatment.
In light of these findings, Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious diseases expert at California University, feels that if current trends continue, Omicron will aid in the abolition of the epidemic. “The virus is always going to be with us,” Dr. Gandhi says in a Bloomberg report, “but my hope is this variant causes so much immunity that it will quell the pandemic.”
The Omicron might turn the pandemic into an endemic, according to the researcher, unless a more infectious variation occurs.
When an illness is endemic, it is less of a concern for people, and they learn to cope and deal with it.
“Beginning Of The End Of The Pandemic”?
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) expressed worry earlier this week about the delivery of a fourth vaccine shot, which is being explored in countries where booster vaccines have already been implemented. Repeated boosters, according to the health agency, are not a “sustainable” technique.
According to the EU’s pharmaceuticals watchdog, the Omicron version may be moving the COVID pandemic closer to endemic status.
Similarly, a South African study suggests that Omicron could bring the pandemic to a close and drive COVID-19 to endemic status.
“If this pattern continues and is repeated globally, we are likely to see a complete decoupling of the case and death rates,” the researchers stated.
However, not everyone shares this viewpoint, and many fear that it will backfire.
Should The New Variant Be Let To Run Free?
According to experts, academics, and medics, the Omicron version could provide natural immunity to a large population, as well as stop the epidemic. Some even argue that adopting precautions will simply result in the emergence of a super-variant, limiting the potential of broad immunity.
Several counter-arguments have been made, and many people have expressed their skepticism. While some point to the consequences of extended COVID, which were not considered during the process, others argue that allowing the variant to run amok would put significant pressure on the healthcare system.
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This post is tagged under health, coronavirus, SARs-COV-2, covid, alpha, beta, delta, Omicron, Delmicron, third wave, World Health Organization, third wave, Satyendar Jain, Sutra model, IIT Kanpur, European Medicines Agency, Dr Monica Gandhi, Bloomberg, California University, Professor Ian Jones, University of Reading