Friday, January 21, 2022

COVID-19: Omicron spreading faster than other variants – Expert

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An epidemiologist, Dr Adeola Oludare, says the new Omicron variant is spreading faster than all other variants of COVID-19.

Mrs Oludare told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja, that COVID-19 cases were on a steep rise around the globe ever since the Omicron variant was discovered.

She noted that the infection was not just getting detected in the unvaccinated but was also affecting those that had been vaccinated.

“In spite of the booster dose in countries like U.S., UK, and even Nigeria, COVID-19 cases are surging.

“Though Nigeria is not doing well with its diagnosis, if we choose to test our population, we should be working with communities, where the virus is coming from.

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“Yes we are a big nation; yes we have all it takes to test our population. How were we able to test the over 4,000 people?

“We can use the same method to test in that manner, like other countries are doing,” she advised.
According to her, many Nigerians are back to their offices, with some still working from home after the Christmas break.

“COVID-19 has given us an opportunity to embrace new working practices and has highlighted the advantages of flexible working conditions, and preventing more people from getting infected.

Mr Oludare said if infected Nigerians had high virus loads, there was greater likelihood they would pass it on to others, especially the unvaccinated.

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She added that vaccinated people, if infected, were more likely to have mild symptoms, if any.

Mr Oludare said the vaccines trigger multiple defence in the immune system, making it much more difficult for omicron to slip past them all.

“A couple of factors are at play when it comes to vaccinated people testing positive for COVID-19, starting with the emergence of the highly contagious omicron variant,” she said.
She stressed that omicron was more likely to infect people, even if it did not make them sick, adding that its surge coincided with the holiday travel season across the country.

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Mr Oludare added that the basic pre-requisite for Nigerians to keep safe from the highly contagious omicron variant was hand hygiene.

“Nigerians can also help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and all its variants, if they identify they are at risk.

“Let’s start the year 2022 the right way and take action to protect our health and boost our COVID-19 immunity.

“If you still need a first, second or booster dose, it’s not too late,” she advised.

NAN

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