The Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus has caused many nations to reimpose tighter restrictions and measures to their citizens. For weeks, the strain has infected millions of people, surpassing record numbers for new cases across the globe.
For the past three to four months, the world has tallied about 90 million new COVID-19 infections. This is more than what the public totalled during the pandemic’s first year.
But, even so, many countries have now started to loosen coronavirus restrictions. Others even decided to end their measures with hopes that the Omicron strain of the virus may have already passed its peak, according to Global News.
Many nations, especially in Europe, have already taken steps to end their respective COVID-19 restrictions. These include England, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, and most Nordic countries.
England concluded almost all measures, including face masks and vaccine passports, last week. While self-isolation remains in place, this will only apply to those who have tested positive for COVID-19, whether it may be due to Omicron or other variants.
Similarly, Denmark scrapped most of its restrictions, which is a first among the members of the European Union. Norway and Switzerland have also loosened some of their COVID-19 curbs.
Outside Europe, some areas in South Africa and the United States have reportedly begun easing with restrictions, as well. Reports said that these were the locations where the COVID-19 cases first skyrocketed due to the Omicron variant, but now have seen a declining or flattening trend.
There are still several regions and locations, though, that remain under strict curbs due to the ongoing Omicron wave. In Europe, these countries include Italy, Greece, and Germany.
In a similar report from ABC News, it states that other continents are even “more cautious” these days. This is especially true in Asia, despite housing some of the world’s highest vaccination rates.
Meanwhile, health officials and experts have continued to warn the public against underestimating the possibility of “new, more dangerous mutant” variants emerging.
WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently reportedly stated that “preventing transmission is no longer possible and no longer necessary” is a narrative that is far from the truth.
Reports said that another WHO official, Dr. Michael Ryan, also had similar assertions. He asserted that countries that may open back up too soon may end up with “unnecessary transmission, unnecessary severe disease, and unnecessary death.”
Accordingly, the public should remain vigilant even though the Omicron variant appears to be less severe, considering its “high transmissibility.”
Images courtesy of ABC News/YouTube
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