KATHMANDU: Considering the vulnerability of Omicron variant of coronavirus in Nepal and other South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) has alerted the concerned countries to adopt high vigilance against the possibility of transmission.
Issuing a statement on Sunday, WHO South-East Asia Regional Director Dr. Poonam Kshetrapal Singh said that all countries should promote surveillance, public health standards, social distance and vaccination programs considering the vulnerability.
“Although the number of COVID-19 infections has been relatively low in most countries in the region, new variants have been found in some parts of the world. The risk of infection has not yet been completely eliminated and we need to do our utmost to control it,” Dr. Kshetrapal said.
The statement remarked that all South and Southeast Asian countries, including Nepal, should focus on surveillance as well as sequencing. It also suggested that all international travelers be placed under additional surveillance.
WHO has urged the countries to adopt appropriate control measures to prevent new variants from entering their country from other countries.
She added that the sooner the precautionary and controlling measures are taken the better for the country. “Even today, the easiest way to control the virus is to use a proper mask, social distance, avoid crowds, sanitation and the use of vaccines,” she said.
She pointed out that 31 percent of the region has been fully vaccinated, 21 percent have received one dose and 48 percent are yet to be vaccinated. So large numbers are still at risk of infection.