The World Health Organization (WHO) on 26th November 2021 designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern (VOC) and has given it the name Omicron. This variant is a highly divergent variant with a high number of mutations, including 26-32 in the spike protein, some of which are concerning and may be associated with humoral immune escape potential and higher transmissibility.
In just a few weeks since its discovery, Omicron has turned out to be highly transmissible and less vulnerable to vaccines than other variants. Please click on this link for An Update from WHO on this variant
Representation of a rise in cases based on a graph of daily new COVID-19 cases per million as of December 16, 2021.
HOW TO PROTECT OURSELVES
- Get vaccinated without delay.
- Keep physical distance of at least 1 metre from others, even if they don’t appear to be sick. Avoid crowds and close contact.
- Wear a properly fitted mask covering your mouth and nose in all public areas, public transport and in meetings, functions etc.
- Clean your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of used tissues immediately and clean hands regularly.
- If you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, self-isolate until you recover.
MAKE YOUR ENVIRONMENT SAFER
The risks of getting COVID-19 are higher in crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces, to make the environment as safe as possible:
- Avoid the 3Cs: Spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact.
- Meet people outside.
- If you can’t avoid crowded or indoor settings, take these precautions:
- Open a window to increase the amount of natural ventilation when indoors.
- Wear a mask.
SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE OMICRON VARIANT
- A scratchy throat (as opposed to a sore throat)
- A dry cough
- Extreme tiredness
- Mild muscle aches
- Night sweats
APPEAL TO COMMUNITY MEMBERS
Community members have both religious and moral responsibilities towards their own safety and safety of others, therefore it is vitally important that our members must strictly follow the guidelines which are introduced by our constituent Jamaats as a precaution and prevention protocols against Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19).
If a person has symptoms of fever, headache, flu, cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath, he/she should not attend any public/religious gatherings in order to protect others from being transmitted with the disease.
CHB – YOUR HEALTH IS OUR PRIORITY
CENTRAL HEALTH BOARD OF AFRICA (CHB)
Date: 31st December 2021