With the outbreak of the new Covid-19 variant ,Omicron in Africa like many other continents has been faced with challenges from this new variant. List of African countries that have reported the variant as of now are Botswana, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria. Worldwide close to twenty countries have reported the spread of the virus. The variant is rapidly growing in South Africa with much of the growing of this Covid-19 variant happening in Gauteng Province in Johannesburg. Scientists have discovered that the new Omicron variant spreads more rapidly than the delta variant.
Measures taken by African countries to curb the new variant
African countries have been forced to come up with ways to control the new Omicron variant. One of the ways taken is to try and get a lot of people to get vaccinated. It is actually discouraging that most African countries which are third world countries’ health systems are already overwhelmed. Just like the measures taken to curb the Covid-19 virus similar measures have also been taken in the dealing of the new Omicron variant. Some of this measures include: wearing face masks ,regular washing of hands and maintaining social distance. As the festive seasons are approaching not only in Africa, worldwide people are advised to exercise high precaution against the virus. It is actually great that all precautions that work for other Covid-19 variants also work against the Omicron variant.
Should the Omicron Variant be much of a concern to African countries?
The new Covid-19 variant should be much of a concern to African countries due to its rapid ability to mutate and spread. Omicron is quit different as it has the ability to weaken the immunity system people may get infected by it even if they had developed some immunity from maybe any previous Covid-19 infection or after getting any Covid-19 vaccine. Even though little investigation has been done on the variant African countries have to be in control in order to prevent any strains on their health sector. Fewer patients actually require ventilators and oxygen and are in hospital for shorter periods.
What are some of the symptoms of the new Omicron variant?
Some of the symptoms of the new Covid-19 variant are similar to those of the Delta variant they include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
Unlike other Covid -19 strain symptoms such as fever, cough, and loss of smell were less common. In a study done in South Africa, the variant also has some early symptoms during its early days in the body. The symptoms include dry cough, fever, night sweats, and a lot of body pains.
How did Omicron virus disrupted activities in African countries?
Africa is famous for its tourism sector which is a source of income to most African countries. As a measure to control the spread of Covid-19, travelling has been disrupted and tourist are no longer visiting places in fear of get infected with the virus. This in return has led to an economic decline in most African countries who greatly depended on tourism mostly during this festive season when tourists visit. Travel bans are an effective measure to control the spread of Covid-19 even with them having some economic strains on the travel and tourism industry.
Is the Omicron variant restricted among African countries only?
Just like other Covid-19 variants Omicron is widespread across the world other countries outside Africa like Italy, Belgium, Hong Kong, Canada, Netherlands, and Denmark. Similar symptoms are also being witnessed in this countries . The impacts may not be similar with those faced by people in African countries as this countries may have better health systems compared to African countries.
Is there hope for us to recover from the covid-19 variants?
Covid-19 virus has had other variants other than the Omicron variant which we have been able to live with. Even though little investigations have been done on some variants such as the Omicron variant existent measures that have been used to curb Covid-19 also apply in the fight against other variants.