Covid scientist are more and more satisfied the Omicron variant is appearing as a pure vaccine for tens of tens of millions of individuals around the globe as most contaminated individuals haven’t any or very gentle signs, but their our bodies do produce full antibodies.
Many international locations are at present seeing document numbers of infections, together with the UK, US, most of Europe and Asia, however hospital admissions solely present a modest and even no severe enhance.
In South Africa, the place Omicron was first detected in November, an infection charges are dropping quickly and most consultants consider the Omicron wave has handed and different international locations ought to anticipate the identical cycle within the subsequent few months.
The excessive stage of contagiousness, paired with very gentle signs, could make Omicron a blessing in disguise, some Covid scientists argue. In reality, some go as far by suggesting there could no have to get vaccinated anymore, simply get Omicron.
Dr Vishal Sehgal, president of medical providers at Portea MeMedical in India, informed the Times of India that “Omicron acts as a natural vaccine and proves beneficial as it is less life-threatening.”
Tail finish of the pandemic?
Plenty of consultants around the globe are satisfied the world is at present seeing the tail of the pandemic, primarily based on different virus outbreaks in historical past.
Dr Namita Jaggi of Artemis Hospitals in India informed varied media shops that “pandemics have traditionally speaking petered out by having variants that are milder and less severe till they finally die out.”
“So no, Omicron is not a cause of concern, rather we must optimistically hope that we are moving towards the end of the pandemic,” Jaggi mentioned.
‘We are moving towards the end of the pandemic’
Dr Namita Jaggi
Nicanor Austriaco, a Filipino-American molecular biologist, additionally believes Covid could slowly be killing itself off with the milder Omicron variant.
During a Town Hall assembly, final week, he mentioned that these contaminated with Omicron can have antibodies that “will protect them against Delta, Gamma, Beta, Alpha and D614G” variants.
“This variant is the beginning of the end of the pandemic that has crippled the global community for two years already,” Austriaco informed The PhilStar newspaper final week.
“As the virus rapidly increases, it’s going to try to spread to everyone and it’s going to try to find as many of our vulnerable. It is spreading so rapidly, what you will expect it will run out the ‘food’ soon.”
“And when it runs out of meals, it can start to crash, which is what you see in South Africa, the numbers are crashing.
“In London, the numbers are beginning to fall only because it spreads like wildfire, and when all the trees are burned, there’s nowhere for it to go. So it begins to crash.”
Nicanor Austriaco – molecular biologist
“We have to realize that Omicron is the beginning of the end of the pandemic because Omicron is going to provide the kind of population immunity that should stabilize our societies and should allow us to reopen,” Austriaco added.
In addition to that, pulmonologist Dr Puneet Khanna mentioned that “viruses tend to evolve towards a less severe strain that can be easily transmitted but is less fatal.”
“Making humans very sick is not in the interest of the virus.”
Dr Puneet Khanna
“Thus, there is hope that in the future, the strain will turn weaker and cause a mild infection quite similar to common flu. But it has to be remembered tthat viruses keep on mutating and so later versions may get even dangerous mutations or become even milder,” Khanna informed the Times of India.
Path out of Omicron
The newest figures in South Africa and various different international locations, could provide the remainder of the world a method out of Omicron, argued Salim Abdool Karim, one in all South Afrcia’s most necessary infectious-diseases scientists.
He is satisfied that “every other country, or almost every other, will follow the same trajectory.” The price of recent infections has consistenly dropped over the past 30 days.
Karim, who has led the pandemic response in South Africa, additionally informed varied media the height of the Omicron wave has handed, evaluating the wave of instances to Africa’s highest mountain.
“If previous variants caused waves shaped like Kilimanjaro, omicron’s is more like we were scaling the North Face of Everest,” Karim mentioned, referring to the near-vertical soar in infections that South Africa skilled through the closing weeks of November and first two weeks of December.
His peer, the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, a family identify in South Africa, couldn’t agree extra: the nation is “over the curve and [infection] numbers are much lower,” she mentioned.
Looking on the information popping out of Southern Africa and the UK, Marc van Ranst, a Belgian professor of virology at Leuven University and the Rega Institute for Medical Research. mentioned that “the omicron variant is less pathogenic but with greater infectivity, allowing Omicron to replace Delta, this is very positive.”
“It is extremely important we need to closely monitor the clinical data of Omicron patients in South Africa and worldwide,” Van Ranst pressured.
Finally, one other well-known virologist in Africa, Michelle Groome, of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), equally informed a number of information shops that “we have surpassed the peak of infections.”
Groome cited figures from the NCID confirmed that new instances dropped by practically 1 / 4 over the previous seven days, following one other 14 per cent drop the earlier week.
There are at present no restrictions in South Africa. Restaurants, outlets, cinemas, malls, bars, espresso outlets and gymnasiums are all open, each indoors in addition to open air.
Most transmissible variant
Despite causes to be cautiously optimistic, doctor Leonard Pascual did warn that “Omicron is the most contagious variant yet of the Covid-19 virus. Don’t let anyone win you over with the narrative that is a cure-all, end-all, ‘vaccine.’ It’s still Covid.”
In reality, solely “a whiff of infected breath” is sufficient to catch essentially the most transmissible variant of coronavirus, a number one scientist warned earlier final week.
Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the UK’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), pressured how infectious Omicron is.
“We’ve had several iterations of this virus going through different stages of its evolution,” he mentioned.
“We’re lucky really that it wasn’t this infectious when it first moved into human-to-human transmission.”
Professor Peter Openshaw
To stop new variants from rising or stop variants like Delta or Omicron from additional adaptation, “take away the virus’ opportunity to replicate,” Canada-based Dr. Angela Rasmussen wrote final week.
“That means stop transmission to new hosts. Fewer new cases = less replication = less mutation = fewer variants emerging. So, as the article says, we need to reduce community transmission, increase surveillance and test/trace capacity, and address this while still rare,” she warned.