Preliminary studies have shown that the Omicron variant of the new coronavirus, which has spread in large numbers around the world, maybe milder than the previous variants of the new coronavirus. However, experts predict that the Omicron variant is not the last variant of the new crown. It will make a serious debut in 2022..
Is Omicron the last variant of the new crown?
Dr. Ramesh Ada Laja Johns Hopkins, a senior specialist at the University Health Security Center, told VOA that this new coronavirus will continue to mutate and produce new forms. They may eventually become offspring of Omicron other variants or completely new variants. We can usually expect new variants to spread more easily. And it’s easier to invade the immune system.”
Shi Xinru, director of the Center for Emerging Virus Infection Research at Chang Gung University, Taiwan, told VOA: “Adaptive mutations are the driving force for the survival of RNA viruses. Therefore, more infectious and low virulence are the advantages of the virus. We still don’t know Austria. Will Mikron be the last variant? I think the virus will continue to mutate, just like the flu virus. The new coronavirus is very likely to become a common cold virus, just like other human coronaviruses, including 229E and OC-43. It still poses a threat to the elderly or people with serious illnesses.”
Last week, a report published by a team at Imperial College London showed that the risk of hospitalization for Omicron cases in the United Kingdom is 40% lower than that of Delta.
US health officials reduced the quarantine period for Americans infected with the new crown virus from 10 days to 5 days on December 27 and similarly shortened the quarantine period for close contacts.
US health officials say that this guideline is to keep up with the increasingly obvious evidence that people infected with the new coronavirus are most contagious in the two days before and three days after they develop any type of symptoms.
Adalia said that Omicron made people clearly realize that the goal of epidemic prevention should not be to prevent infection but to prevent severe illness and hospitalization.
Shi Xinru predicts that many Omicron-like viruses will spread around the world. She said that this vaccine cannot stop the spread of the virus but it can save you from hospitalization and your death. Wearing a mask and washing hands are still very effective ways to reduce serious infections.”
Dr. Timothy Brewer, professor of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, believes that the new crown virus will never completely disappear. He said that regular vaccination and antiviral pill treatment can be combined with the immunity generated by the infection, thereby significantly reducing the severity of the new crown outbreak in the next few years. It will never disappear. Sometimes there are more cases or fewer cases, just like the flu every year.”
However, some researchers have said that Omicron can actually accelerate the transformation of the new crown from a pandemic to an endemic epidemic, although there will be a large number of cases and potential deaths in the process.
Researchers believe that the high transmission rate of Omicron and the risk of people who have not been vaccinated and who have not received booster shots will significantly increase the number of hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks and months, but survivors may There is a certain degree of so-called “natural immunity”, which may help prevent the new crown from mutating into the next large-spread virus strain.
Dr. David Ho, a well-known world-renowned virologist and professor at Columbia University, told CNBC that: “Sometimes a fast-burning fire burns out very quickly, and then it extinguishes itself.”
He Dayi said that this is a “speculative” theory based on the usual behavior of most viruses. Although the new crown has definitely undergone some unexpected changes in the past two years, infectious disease experts have discussed this possibility. it’s been a while.
The new crown brings a grim start to 2022
Since winter is a flu-prone period, and people’s gatherings and travel during Christmas and New Year holidays will also promote the spread of the virus,
Senior health officials predict that the Omicron variant cases will begin to peak in January after the end of the New Year holiday.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the surge in Omicron cases could severely harm the US hospital system.
Fauci told ABC, that we should see how the condition of the staff working in the hospital in some areas of the United States is under any pressure because this virus may have left a significant impact on his mental state.
Experts are particularly worried that the Omicron variant, the delta variant, and the flu will strike the United States at the same time, paralyzing hospitals across the country. They urged governments to expedite the increase in vaccination coverage.
The WHO stated that all countries must achieve 70% coverage of the new crown vaccine. The emergence of the Omicron variant has once again fueled the discussion of vaccination among the whole people.
Many countries, especially European countries, are considering providing necessary booster needles for travelers from other places. The leaders of Greece and the Netherlands have publicly stated that the mandatory strengthening of the needle is likely to be implemented from February 2022.
Mark Zandi is the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, a business analysis company. He wrote in a commentary to the Philadelphia Inquirer that the new crown epidemic is still at the core of the economic outlook for the coming year. Even after the wave of Omicron infection subsides, there may be other waves. However, each new wave should be less destructive to the healthcare system and economy than the previous wave. More and more people are vaccinated and strengthened, and the emergence of new antiviral drugs and therapies should also help ensure that the number of hospitalizations and deaths is reduced. Companies will also become better at managing business activities during the epidemic.
In the United States, due to the emergence of a wave of Omicron infections, the Biden administration has imposed stricter testing requirements on incoming passengers, including American citizens. The new restrictions came a few weeks after the lifting of pandemic travel bans in more than 30 countries and regions.
However, some experts predict that the tourism industry may suffer another setback next year.
Yannis Moatti is a travel expert and CEO of HotelsByDay. He told local American media that Omicron “come too late this year and people have no time to cancel holiday holidays. This is the peak of the year. Therefore, as far as I know, there has been no surge in hotel cancellations.”
But Moatti said that he believes that the travel cancellation rate in the first quarter of 2022 may rise, and, depending on the duration of the Omicron wave, the tourism industry may suffer another blow.