Back to the basics

It isn’t over until it’s over best describes the kind of predicament we are in because of the novel coronavirus or Covid-19, which has officially claimed more than 6.2mn lives worldwide since its start in late 2019.

When we think that the end is almost near, after more than two years of Covid-19 wreaking havoc on the lives and livelihood of the people, and we relentlessly fighting to keep it away, it also appears at times that it could just be the beginning of something new altogether.

That is what the various reports emerging recently have been saying.

With the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 still mutating, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday has warned of something they don’t know what is coming next.

Meanwhile, it is also not known whether these new sub-variants can cause more severe disease than other Omicron sub-variants.

But the WHO chief has maintained that even as BA.2 remains dominant in most parts of the world, sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5 are driving a new surge in South Africa.

Further, the reason for the recent spike in cases in South Africa has been attributed to the Omicron sub-variants, BA.4 and BA.5.

It was also the South African scientists who identified Omicron late last year. The highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19, which is known for its transmissibility, is now the dominant variant, accounting for almost all new cases.

Further, as we think that the pandemic is about to end, there are reports of another outbreak of the Delta or new Covid variant likely this summer.

According to a modeling study, the Omicron variant of coronavirus may wane, but there could be another outbreak of the Delta variant or a new strain of Covid this summer

The prediction is as per an Israel-based study, which claims that the world will witness a new Covid-19 outbreak soon.

“It can be expected that the Omicron levels will decrease until eliminated, while the Delta variant will maintain its cryptic circulation,” states the finding that was published recently in the journal Science of The Total Environment.

Another disturbing prediction, apart from the Israel-based study, comes from Microsoft founder Bill Gates, where the billionaire in a recent interview with Financial Times claimed of a new variant that could be “even more transmissive and even more fatal” than the Delta and Omicron variants.

We, therefore, cannot be certain for sure, at least for now, whether we have seen the worst of the Covid pandemic or the worst of the Covid pandemic is over.

With data and scientific experts suggesting that vaccination remains protective against severe disease and death, the best way to protect ourselves for now remains vaccination, and unquestionably the basic safety practices such as washing hands frequently, maintaining social distance, and wearing a facemask regularly.