Published : Tuesday, 27 December, 2022 at 12:00 AM Count : 541
North and South America, accompanying a number of Asian countries have recently recorded a sudden spike in COVID infections. The highly transmissible new BF.7 strain of the Omicron variant is believed to be behind the latest surge in COVID infections globally.
Against the backdrop of this surge in infections, The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has directed all land and air ports across the country to increase screening as the new variant is more transmissible than the previous ones. Moreover, the DGHS has also directed to arrange antigen tests at all air ports for incoming passengers. Suspected inbound passengers will have to be isolated, since he/she is likely to affect others quickly.
What triggers worry, however, the new BF.7 strain is reportedly 4 times higher transmissible and the incubation period is very short to infect many at a time.
The new variant has already resulted in a steep rise of COVID cases in neighbouring India.
However, apart from government measures, it is also time for all once more resort to WHO specified health and safety guidelines. Simultaneously, those who have missed out on taking booster doses must get it quick besides wearing facemasks in crowded places and maintain social distance.
We believe media and mobile phone services must play a decisive role in launching a countrywide campaign to warn the common people about the new variant.
From a medical perspective, symptoms of an infection with BF.7 are similar to those associated with other omicron sub-variants, primarily upper respiratory symptoms. Patients may contract fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and fatigue among other general symptoms.
A minority of people can also experience gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea. But ominously enough, BF.7 may well cause more serious illness in people with weaker immune systems, so there is no room to miss out on any one of the vaccine doses.
Though cases are expected to rise in neighbouring India over the coming weeks, but a number of health and pandemic experts have also said the situation will �not be as dire� as what is happening in china right now � where according to some studies some 2 million people could possibly succumb to the virus in the coming months. None could confirm why the situation looks dire and different in China. Then again time will only tell what could happen.
Most importantly, given the swiftness of transmission, possibility of a new wave cannot be ruled out right away.
To finish with, we would say again all to complete respective vaccine doses, practice health & safety guidelines and remain alert.