‘Omicron is spreading faster than anything before’ – Dr. Anthony
The new Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus is now affecting thousands of people worldwide and Health Minister Dr. Frank Anthony says that this variant is spreading much faster than any other.
Guyana has not yet confirmed the presence of the Omicron variant but the US and several European countries have reported their highest daily rises in COVID cases since the pandemic began, as the Omicron variant spreads there.
“This is spreading faster than anything we have seen before and Omicron also has the capability of evading immunity,” Dr. Anthony said during his daily COVID-19 update on Wednesday.
As he warned before, the Omicron variant is more transmissible- which means that it is more easily spread from person to person. And as such, more and more people can be infected.
Over the past 24-hour period, another 87 people have been infected with the novel coronavirus. This is a significant increase in the number of people infected over the past few weeks but Dr. Anthony said that this may be due to a backlog from the extended Christmas holiday weekend.
He did not attribute this increase to the possible emergence of the Omicron variant in Guyana. He, however, said that this increase will be monitored henceforth.
Meanwhile, the Health Minister explained that people who have been infected with COVID-19 and recovered would have developed some natural protection against the deadly disease. The new variant, however, is likely to re-infect people much more easily.
It is possible that this variant may even evade the protection offered by vaccines and so the Health Minister emphasised that vaccinated people ought to take their booster shots to give themselves the necessary protection against the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
Currently, nearly 80 per cent of adults in Guyana, or 410,499 individuals, have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. Additionally, 294,160 people or 57.3 per cent of the adult population, have received two vaccine doses.
Importantly, 11,065 people have received their booster shots about one month after the local health authorities started offering these booster shots.