The Omicron wave may be subsiding for now but the virus, Covid-19, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Indicating that the next variant might be more infectious and deadlier, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday that this pandemic is far from over.
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO epidemiologist and technical lead on Covid-19, said at a press briefing, “The next variant of concern will be more fit, and what we mean by that is it will be more transmissible because it will have to overtake what is currently circulating. The big question is whether or not future variants will be more or less severe.” Dr. Kerkhove cautioned that the next variant wouldn’t just be able to bypass human immunity but will also render the vaccine ineffective.
However, she assured, “We expect that with the right interventions, the circulation of Covid-19 will be low. But even within those circulations, there will be flare-ups among people who are not protected by the vaccine or those who have waning immunity.” Dr. Maria also said that getting the jab was imperative as it would protect against illness and even death.
The Delta variant, first detected in India in October 2020, spread 50% faster than the Alpha variant, which was, in turn, 50% more contagious than the original SARS-CoV-2 or as the world knows it – Coronavirus.