The current third COVID wave due to predominant Omicron variant is spreading very fast as compared to previous strains. As majority of persons infected with Omicron have no to mild symptoms, the affected persons don't stay back home and keep on moving out of homes and meet and interact with other people. This facilitates spread of infection, more so in case people aren't wearing facemasks and are not maintaining social and physical distances. Virus moves with people, face masks are best protection
It has been found that in case a family member is tested positive, almost whole family gets infected. In this case the family members shall isolate and quarantine itself for minimum five days if they have come in contact with a positive family member and haven't wore facemasks while meeting, interacting with them.
There is scientific evidence that those vaccinated have much less symptoms and minimal hospitalisation than those unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. It's advised that every eligible person shall get full course of vaccines against COVID.
Almost everyone with no or mild symptoms tested positive for COVID shall isolate himself/ herself at home and shall preferably consult doctors on phones and shall visit hospitals only in case there's severity of symptoms.
It is very important to understand that we shall move out of homes only when it's essential and shall follow COVID appropriate behaviour SOPs by wearing good quality facemask while firms fits the face, maintain six feet distancing between individuals, hand hygiene.
People shall avoid social, political, religious and recreational gatherings where infection transmits very high. One should avoid visiting food eateries and eating there.
People shall avoid taking lunch, tea, snacks etc together as it facilitate viral transmission. Lastly, COVID due to Omicron strain is spreading rapidly but produce mild symptoms. We can prevent its spread by following basic etiquettes of facemasks, maintaining physical distance and hand hygiene, and shall get vaccinated
Dr S Muhammad Salim Khan,
Professor and HOD, Community Medicine, Government Medical College Srinagar